GOP Members of Deficit Super Committee Meet for Seven Hours Today; Aim to ‘Achieve Success’

The Republican House and Senate appointees to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction met today on Capitol Hill behind closed doors for more than seven hours before vanishing without comment.

Sens. Jon Kyl, Rob Portman and Pat Toomey joined Reps. Dave Camp, Fred Upton and Jeb Hensarling for what GOP aides described as an organizational meeting at the House Republican Conference office in the Cannon House office building.

After the meeting, Hensarling, the House Republican Conference Chairman and co-chairman of the bipartisan Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, noted that last week he and the committee’s other co-chair, Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, “encouraged members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (JSC) to engage in active and useful dialogue on the committee’s work,” and it was “in that spirit” that the Republican members met today.

“Republicans today discussed the work that others have contributed to the cause of deficit reduction and how we can work with our Democratic colleagues to achieve success,” Hensarling, R-Texas, wrote in a statement. “These conversations will continue, across the aisle and among each caucus, as everyone prepares for the first meeting of the full committee.”

Despite a strong contingency of the Capitol Hill press corps staking out multiple exits to the second-floor office wing, all of the congressmen left the meeting undetected without speaking with reporters, many of whom had been waiting in the hallways since 10:00 a.m. for the Republicans to comment.

Heading into the meeting earlier this morning, members of the so-called “Super Committee” told reporters that the gathering would be an organizational meeting to determine the GOP’s plan of attack and hash out a schedule for upcoming meetings with the full panel.

Top Republican leadership aides leaving the meeting refused to comment on the substance of the meeting and would not divulge when the next meeting might occur.

The full 12-member committee is expected to meet after Congress returns from summer recess next week after Labor Day, although a date has not been announced.