Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Gang of Six" budget talks founder in Senate

Republican Tom Coburn, one of the Senate's leading fiscal conservatives, told reporters he was dropping out of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" after months of meetings.

"We can't bridge the gap between what actually needs to happen and what people will allow to happen," Coburn said.

A source familiar with the talks said Coburn had pushed for deep and immediate cuts to Medicare, the healthcare program for the elderly, which were rejected by other members of the group. Coburn's proposal was described as more dramatic than a plan that passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives last month.

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