Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has embraced the "Gang of Six" proposal even though it doesn’t go as far as his own ambitious deficit-cutting measure.
“This $3.7 trillion [Gang of Six plan] is well over 40 percent of the way you have to get there to solve our problems,” he told Fox News. “And the fact that you can do that in a bipartisan way shows the American people there is some common sense up here.”
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, faces a formidable challenge in shepherding any Senate-cut deal through the far more conservative House and gave the Gang of Six plan a mixed early review.
“The president has said now for once he wants a balanced approach,” he said in a statement in defense of the House-passed cut, cap and balance plan. “Well, guess what? In cut, cap and balance he does get a balanced approach. He gets his increase in the debt limit of $2.4 trillion. What we get are real cuts in spending and real reforms in place that'll make sure that this problem never, ever happens again.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., has emerged as an essential figure in the debt talks and his support will dictate the success of any plan.
“I am concerned with the Gang of Six’s revenue target; the plan fails to significantly address the largest drivers of America’s debt, and it is unclear how the goals of tax and entitlement reforms would be enforced,” he said in a statement. “I continue to caution that a tax increase is the wrong policy to pursue with so many Americans out of work.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is President Obama’s chief ally in getting some kind of deal enacted.
“Right now I am at the point where I am saying, we need to hear from the House of Representatives,” he said on the Senate floor. “We have a plan to go forward over here. I await the word from the speaker.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., is playing his cards close to his vest, having advocated his own complicated deal for debt-reduction, but is working on the Gang of Six particulars with Reid.
“I don’t have an opinion yet,” he told reporters of the Gang’s plan.
President Barack Obama is now the Timekeeper in Chief, reminding any and all that the clock is ticking on getting a deal done.
“I think [the Gang of Six plan] is a very significant step,” he told reporters. “The framework they put forward is broadly consistent with what we've been working on at the White House."
Coburn: Getty/Chip Somodevilla, Boehner: Getty/Chip Somodevilla, Cantor: Getty/Win McNamee, Reid: Getty/Chip Somodevilla, McConnell: Getty/Win McNamee, Obama: Getty/Alex Wong