Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition, a Washington organization that favors balanced budgets, said the committee never really had a chance.
“They were chosen by congressional leadership,” he said. “And it did not seem that the congressional leadership had the strong drive to ensure that a deal was enacted.”
He said he had hoped that if anyone could forge a compromise, it would’ve been Portman and then-Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the new Secretary of State.
It also seems like a distant memory, but back then both sides were talking. Even as the budget cuts loomed last week, President Obama and House Republicans seemed loathe to engage, with Obama meeting with congressional leadership only after the deadline passed.
“It was a big missed opportunity,” Bixby said of the super-committee. “If you looked not just substantively but politically as well, if you look at the politics of where we are now, it’s pretty dismal. They’re not even talking. It’s almost like the campaign is still going on.”