The Republicans were never going to agree to anything.
Oh but they did agree to something, they agreed to go into the discussion AFTER signing the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge": http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/21/grover-norquist-tax-lobbyist-supercommittee-gop
They really set themselves up for success on that one.
"I know, lets go into a discussion about the US finances, but before we do, let's remove some of the most powerful tools in our toolbox completely"
I'm a european working for an American company, and have always been impressed with how American companies do business, their aggressive plans and the "everything is up for grabs" mentality. Lately however, I've been equally unimpressed by the opposite, here we are, facing a massive problem, and the American politicians are behaving like babies.
The response? Smoke weed on wall-street!