And Then There Were Five (Coburn Withdraws from Gang of 6)

Via the NYTSenate Group on Debt Loses a Key Republican

The already weak prospects for a bipartisan debt-reduction deal this year dimmed further on Tuesday when a Republican member of the Senate’s “Gang of Six,” Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, withdrew after months of private negotiations amid differences over changes to Medicare.


Two other Republicans, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia and Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, for now remain in the group along with three Democrats, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, the chairman of the Budget Committee; Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the assistant majority leader; and Mark Warner of Virginia, the organizer along with Mr. Chambliss, of the five-month-old effort. The five met for about four hours on Tuesday, and agreed to meet again on Wednesday.

“The group continues to meet,” said a Chambliss spokeswoman, Bronwyn Lance Chester.

Mr. Crapo, too, “continues to work toward a deal with the group and remains hopeful that a resolution can be reached,” said his spokeswoman, Susan Wheeler. “The group is facing tough issues, but it has faced tough issues before and continued to work on the issue.”

According to the story, Coburn made a new demand regarding more Medicare cuts and this appears to have caused the rift.

FILED UNDER: Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Tano says:

    One wonders about the timing of this, and whether there is some relationship to the troubles Coburn is facing in the Ensign matter…


  2. TG Chicago says:

    According to the story, Coburn made a new demand regarding more Medicare cuts and this appears to have caused the rift.

    Better be careful. Saying that Republicans want to cut Medicare is a lie according to Politifact. Coburn just wants to redefine Medicare into something smaller! Completely different.