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Gang Of Six Counters Republican Proposal With New Plan

Kate Rooney |
July 19, 2011 | 2:37 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer

Sen. Coburn rejoined the group and quickly set the wheels in motion. (Medill DC via Creative Commons)
Sen. Coburn rejoined the group and quickly set the wheels in motion. (Medill DC via Creative Commons)
The Gang of Six, a group of bipartisan senators that has been meeting since early this year on a plan to reduce the deficit, rolled out the fruits of its labor Tuesday morning.

With an audience of 50 senators, the Gang introduced a $3.7 trillion deficit-reduction proposal that was met with positive reactions.

“I think we’re now seeing a potential for a bipartisan consensus,” President Barack Obama said of the plan, according to Politico.com.

“We went from a Gang of Six to a Mob of 50,” echoed Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V. “Great promise.”

The Gang, which reconvened just days ago when Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) rejoined the group after leaving in frustration two months ago, is said to be offering their proposal as an alternative to the Republican-backed budget. The GOP’s so-called “Cut, Cap, and Balance” plan is going up for vote in the House late Tuesday and is expected to fail in the face of Democratic opposition to its steep spending cuts.

The Gang-backed bipartisan plan calls for $500 billion in immediate spending cuts, to be supplemented with another bill that would structure another plan for long time changes. Some of those changes include cuts to Medicare, the Pentagon, and reinvention of the current systems for health care, tax brackets, and Social Security.

Coburn said the potential savings in health care, which under the plan would be nearly $116 billion, are what drew him back to the Gang, ABC News reported.

The vote on the Republican bill is expected to be in early Tuesday evening. As for the Gang, they’ll give senators 24 hours to look over their proposal and decide whether to support it.


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