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 McConnellTrump’s isolation grows Ellison: Trump has 'level of sympathy' for neo-Nazis, white supremacists Trump touts endorsement of second-place finisher in Alabama primary MORE (R-Ky.), Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerIt's time for McConnell to fight with Trump instead of against him How Republicans can bring order out of the GOP's chaos Republican donor sues GOP for fraud over ObamaCare repeal failure 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 CoburnAl Franken: 'I make fun of the people who deserved it' The more complex the tax code, the more the wealthy benefit Congress, stop using our nation's military policy for political purposes MORE of Oklahoma, Saxby ChamblissSaxby ChamblissFormer GOP senator: Let Dems engage on healthcare bill OPINION: Left-wing politics will be the demise of the Democratic Party GOP hopefuls crowd Georgia special race MORE of Georgia and Mike CrapoMike CrapoYou're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat GOP debates tax cuts vs. tax reform Conservative groups urge Trump to stick with Ex-Im Bank nominee 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.