A day after a bipartisan group of 100 House members put revenue on the table, calling for the Congressional super committee to "go big" with a $4 trillion deficit reduction package, Fox has learned that those lawmakers joined forces with an expanded version of the Senate's "Gang of Six", also a bipartisan group, for a meeting behind closed doors to compare notes.
Sources tell Fox the "Go Big Coalition" met for nearly an hour out of the view of reporters in the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va, who has spearheaded bipartisan gatherings in the past to try to develop some kind of "grand bargain" to decrease the nation's debt significantly.
"It was lively, optimistic, upbeat. A lot of folks showed up. People were excited. Some tangible ideas came out," one attendee described, adding, "We met to try to strategize about how to go big, strategize about revenue," though the source said no details were discussed about the controversial topic.
The Thursday group, which included numerous House members and four of the six Senate Gang members, as well as, the Gang's self-described cheerleaders, Sens. Mike Bennet, D-Colo., and Mike Johanns, R-Neb., plans to meet again when the House returns from its weeklong recess that starts Friday. At that point, the group plans to do more in public.
The meeting was organized by Maya MacGuineas of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. When reached at her office, MacGuineas declined comment.
One potential bump in the road came Thursday evening when a group of 33 Republican senators, including four from the "Go Big Coalition," sent a letter to the super committee specifically requesting that the panel consider "comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and promotes economic growth, with no net tax increase."
The later point, which would preclude deficit reduction, sent a ripple of anger through Democratic circles with a stake in Thursday's "Go Big" meeting.
Both the Gang of Six, three Democrats and three Republicans, and the House 100 are urging members of the super committee to find at least $4 trillion in savings. And though the House 100 included no real detail in its letter released Wednesday, the Gang of Six put forward a plan in July that called for $3.7 trillion in budget savings over 10 years. They met with the super committee previously to go over that plan.
"A lot of people are genuinely fearful that the super committee is stalled. The group is simply trying to help find a way to ensure they don't," said one aide to a member who attended the meeting.
The 12-member panel has until November 23 to craft a plan that reduces the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion, else $1.5 trillion in mandatory cuts is triggered.