The supercommittee disbanded on Nov. 21 after failing to find any deficit savings before its Nov. 23 deadline. Over the summer, the Biden talks produced trillions in potential cuts that similarly never materialized. Obama and BoehnerJohn BoehnerFormer House leader Bob Michel, a person and politician for the ages Former House GOP leader Bob Michel dies at 93 Keystone pipeline builder signs lobbyist MORE separately tried and failed to negotiate a $4 trillion deficit-reduction deal.
All three efforts stumbled over Democratic demands for large tax increases and a Republican refusal to consider much revenue other than that generated by fostering economic growth.
The groups that signed the letter were Taxpayers for Common Sense, the Project on Government Oversight, the Center for Responsive Politics, the Heartland Institute, the Sunlight Foundation, Citizens Against Government Waste, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.
The deficit hawk community has been somewhat divided on the issue of secrecy, with some hawks arguing that secrecy is necessary to preserve the flexibility needed to allow an eventual compromise.