For Mike Johnson it was effectively a Day 1 priority.

It’s well past time, the newly elected House speaker said in October, to establish a bipartisan commission to tackle the federal government’s growing $34.6 trillion in debt. “The consequences if we don’t act now are unbearable,” he said, echoing warnings from his predecessor and other House Republicans.

More than six months later, the proposal appears all but dead, extinguished by vocal opposition from both the right and the left.