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 McConnellStudy: Trump tops recent GOP presidents in signing bills in first 100 days Senate passes stopgap funding bill to avert shutdown Let’s never talk about a government shutdown — ever again MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbyists bounce back under Trump Business groups silent on Trump's Ex-Im nominee Chaffetz won't run for reelection 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 CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE of Oklahoma, Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissGOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race Democrats go for broke in race for Tom Price's seat Spicer: Trump will 'help the team' if needed in Georgia special election MORE of Georgia and Mike CrapoMike CrapoBattle begins over Wall Street rules Lawmakers call for pilot program to test for energy sector vulnerabilities Senators war over Wall Street during hearing for Trump's SEC pick 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.