Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) said he will no longer participate in budget deficit negotiations via the “Gang of Six,” leaving a sputtering band of five behind.
“We’re at an impasse,” Coburn said. “There’s no reason to sit and talk about the same things over and over and not get any movement.”
Coburn’s departure will stymie any potential for success within the gang. As the most conservative member, Coburn’s approval of a prospective deal would have been vital to it gaining popularity among Republicans.
Other members of the group, including Republican Sens. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Mike Crapo (Idaho) have suggested that the gang will continue to negotiate and remains relevant.
“They all worked in good faith, every one of them. So, it’s not about bad faith, it’s about being a realist about what you can accomplish and what you can’t,” Coburn said. “I’m just gonna give it a rest for a while and see.”
Although Coburn is taking a leave of absence from the gang, he told reporters Tuesday after speaking on the Senate floor,” I am a member of the gang.”
With the “Gang of Six” losing steam, the Biden-led negotiations will likely bear the burden of hashing out a budget-deficit deal by August.