A top Republican senator in the bipartisan "Gang of Six" seeking agreement on a plan to cut the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade dropped out of the group today, saying that his colleagues weren't willing to cut enough from benefit programs like Medicare. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said he doesn't see how the group can reach agreement and that he would stop participating in its discussions.
"It's got to be balanced. And I didn't perceive where we were was balanced," Coburn said. "I'm not planning on participating at this time," he added. "If things change, I will." The group has been working for months on a sweeping plan to wrestle the deficit under control through a mix of new tax revenues and cuts across a wide swath of the federal budget. The other five members will continue to meet.