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 McConnellOpioid crisis threatens GOP ObamaCare repeal Trump making calls to senators on healthcare bill Trump called Cruz to press him on ObamaCare repeal bill: report MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerRyan reminds lawmakers to be on time for votes Juan Williams: GOP fumbles on healthcare The Hill's 12:30 Report 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 Coburn'Path of least resistance' problematic for Congress Freedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC MORE of Oklahoma, Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissOPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party GOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race Democrats go for broke in race for Tom Price's seat MORE of Georgia and Mike CrapoMike CrapoOvernight Regulation: Senate Banking panel huddles with regulators on bank relief | FCC proposes 2M fine on robocaller | Yellowstone grizzly loses endangered protection Overnight Finance: Big US banks pass Fed stress tests | Senate bill repeals most ObamaCare taxes | Senate expected to pass Russian sanctions bill for second time All big US banks pass Dodd-Frank stress tests 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.