Federal Deficit: New Presidential Commission Joins Budget Battle


The Gang of Six includes Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Mark Warner of Virginia and Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and Mike Crapo of Idaho.

Since January, they have been working on a proposal to slash the nation's deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. For the most part, they have been tight-lipped about their internal deliberations, but they are expected to announce their plan in the coming weeks.

"You have the House Republican budget from Congressman Paul Ryan, who I know and like, which is going to be placed somewhere on the right side of the spectrum. You have the president's suggestion, which will be on the other side of the spectrum. And if and when we reach an agreement, it will be in the middle, a bipartisan effort, which I think has a chance to succeed," Durbin told ABC News' Jon Karl in an exclusive interview.

Durbin ? the Senate's No. 2 Democrat ? said he hopes the Gang of Six will have a proposal to unveil shortly after Congress returns from its Easter recess May 2.

"We're very, very close," Durbin said. "And there's a sense of urgency. Our relevance is going to be hooked to our timeliness. If we wait too long, we may not be players. And a lot of people are counting on us to be players."

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