Reid appoints two lawmakers to deficit-reduction panel

As the majority leader, Reid was asked to appoint four negotiators but opted to choose two instead. President Obama called for the creation of the bipartisan panel in a speech on Wednesday with an aim to have a plan ready by July. 

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellRubio: GOP Congress could go in different direction than Trump Pelosi blasts GOP leaders for silence on Trump Reid: Groping accusations show Trump’s ‘sickness’ MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerTrump may pose problem for Ryan in Speaker vote Conservatives backing Trump keep focus on Supreme Court Vote House Republicans out MORE (R-Ohio) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have also been asked to appoint four members each.

In addition to Durbin, Senate Budget Chairman Conrad and Warner, the Gang of Six includes Republicans Tom CoburnTom CoburnRyan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight The Trail 2016: Words matter Ex-Sen. Coburn: I won’t challenge Trump, I’ll vote for him MORE of Oklahoma, Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissWyden hammers CIA chief over Senate spying Cruz is a liability Inside Paul Ryan’s brain trust MORE of Georgia and Mike CrapoMike CrapoSenators urge resolution of US, Canada softwood lumber deal GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election More Senate Republicans pressure Treasury over debt-equity rules MORE of Idaho. They have been working to draft legislation based on recommendations the president’s fiscal commission announced in December. 

That group was led by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and called for cuts of $4 trillion in spending in 10 years.