Senator suggests new member for ‘Gang of Six’ budget negotiators

With Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., out of the bipartisan "Gang of Six" senators working toward a budget cut proposal that would simultaneously raise the debt ceiling, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., has a nominee to take his place.

"I'll make a little news today," Kirk offered Friday on "Morning Joe" when asked if the current quintet will be able to pull through in what was once regarded to be the best hope for a feasible budget resolution. "I think the Gang of Six should probably be the Gang of Six again. I hope Sen. Rob Portman joins, with his connections to the [Office of Management and Budget] and his gravitas; that would help."

Portman, an Ohio Republican, is a former director of the OMB. But Kirk said when he spoke with Portman about it Thursday, he seemed "reticent."

"He needs to be invited," Kirk explained, "but he is the kind of person who could give gravitas to the discussion again, rebalance the group."

With Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's postponement of the deadline when the government will hit its deficit cap to August 2, Kirk said a replacement Republican in the Gang is critical to re-establish "the best chance we have" at composing a workable, bipartisan budget plan.

"You could feel the energy going out of the deficit reduction tires and heading for a July battle instead of a May battle," Kirk said of the extension. "Now we're resetting the battlefield for June, July, with the Gang of Six… being the best act in town."

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.