As President Obama looks for the nation to support his proposal to cut the US deficit, a group of U.S. Senators better known as the “Gang of Six” are making headlines for their solution to the U.S. debt ceiling crisis by proposing to cut the U.S. deficit by $3.7 trillion over the next ten years. The “Gang of Six” is led by Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Saxby Chambliss and includes four members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Below is a look at the members of the “Gang of Six”.
Who Are the “Gang of Six”?
Mark Warner is currently serving as the junior U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of Virginia. He is a member of the Democratic Party and delivered the keynote address before the nation at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. In 2006, Mark Warner was widely expected to throw his name in the ring for the 2008 U.S presidential elections however he withdrew his name citing a desire to prevent disrupting his family life. He is expected to become the state’s senior Senator when Jim Webb retires from the Senate in January 2013.
Dick Durbin is the senior U.S. Senator from Illinois and the Senate Majority Whip, the second highest position in the Democratic Party leadership in the Senate. In 1996 he won election to the U.S. Senate by an unexpected 15-point margin and served as Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, and assumed his current title when the Democratic Party obtained a majority in 2007. As a member of the Democratic leadership, he has a record as one of the most liberal members of Congress.
Kent Conrad is the senior U.S. Senator from North Dakota. He is a member of the Democratic Party and was first elected to the Senate in 1986. Kent Conrad is currently chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. Earlier in the year, Kent Conrad announced that he would not run for re-election in 2012, but will instead retire. He said in a statement that it was more important that “I spend my time and energy trying to focus on solving the nation’s budget woes than be distracted by another campaign.”
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Clarence Saxby Chambliss, Jr. is the senior U.S. Senator from Georgia. As a member of the Republican Party, Clarence Saxby Chambliss, Jr. previously served as a U.S. Representative from 1995–2003. During his four terms in the House, Chambliss served on the United States House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and chaired the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Terrorism and Homeland Security, which oversaw investigations of the intelligence community after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001. He has a conservative voting record in the Senate, although he has participated in some bipartisan legislation in the past.
Mike Crapo is the senior U.S. Senator from Idaho and a member of the Republican Party. Mike Crapo was elected to Congress in 1992, representing Idaho’s 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. After three terms in the House he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998. He was re-elected with no Democratic opposition in the 2004 election, a rarity in the Senate. He was again re-elected in 2010.
Tom Coburn, M.D. is a member of the Republican Party and he currently serves as the junior U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. In the Senate, he is known as “Dr. No” for his tendency to place holds on and vote against bills he views as unconstitutional. Tom Coburn was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1994 as part of the Republican Revolution. He upheld his campaign pledge to serve no more than three consecutive terms and did not run for re-election in 2000. In 2004, he returned to political office with a successful run for the U.S. Senate. He is a fiscal and social conservative, known for his opposition to deficit spending and pork barrel projects, and for his leadership in the pro-life movement.