Right in the middle of this highly unusual display of bipartisan comity, members of the media who attended the event were handed a letter that the panel's chairman, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), sent that day to the deficit-reduction supercommittee. The letter detailed the committee's official perspective on ways the deficit panel—charged with finding $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction—could obtain savings from Medicare.
So what did the panel's other members think of their committee's official suggestions?
When asked about the letter, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), ranking member of the committee, asked a reporter for a copy of the letter because, he said, he did not even know it had been sent, much less what it recommended.
“I actually haven't read the letter but I'd love to read it and respond,” he said.
Corker' displayed neither particular shock or upset as Kohl's partisan power play probably because that kind of approach has become standard in Congress. And Kohl is not alone in his approach, with committee chairmen from both parties and both chambers of Congress taking exactly the same partisan approach of sending their personal recommendations to the deficit panel in the name of their committees, as is their prerogative under committee rules.
The rank partisanship has inspired a similarly partisan response from minority Democrats in the House, many of whose ranking committee members sent their own recommendations to the supercommittee on Thursday.
And so the well-oiled wheel goes 'round.
You can follow Rich Daly on Twitter @MHRDaly.