And Then There Were Five: Coburn Leaves Gang of Six


The so-called Gang of Six has lost some of its street cred. Conservative Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn says he's "taking a sabbatical" and may join the group at a later date. The gang, which includes Republican Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, has been meeting regularly, with sessions refereed by Vice President Joe Biden, in an attempt to hammer out long-term solutions to the nation's growing debt crisis.

Coburn exited after Democrats rejected his plan to cut $130 billion more from Medicare beyond the $400 billion in cuts that were already on the table. In addition to Crapo, the remaining GOP member is Georgia Sen. Saxby Chamblis. Democratic members are North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and Virginia Sen. Mark Warner.

Following Coburn's departure, ABC News said the gang was "falling apart;" the Washington Post reported the gang was "on the verge of collapse," while The Wall Street Journal said the gang "could be imploding."