Washington (CNN)-One day after Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn dramatically dropped out of the bipartisan Gang of Six debt talks, the remaining five members of the group huddled late Wednesday to discuss their next steps in trying to reach a deal to cut the nation's debt by $4 trillion over the next decade.
After an hour-long meeting in the office of Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, the senators emerged jointly before cameras for the first time to announce they would continue working towards a deal, even if Coburn had left the group.
"We've had a very constructive meeting today," said Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota. "We intend to meet again tomorrow and we're going to keep working. I think that's a summary of what we're going to say at this moment. I think all of us are encouraged."
"We had a very good conversation today about the fact that we've done a lot of hard work and we're going to continue the dialogue," said Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Georgia, a founder of the group which has worked for months on the issue.
After Coburn, a leading fiscal conservative, dropped out of the talks, it was unclear if the group would even try to keep working towards a deal.
The senators appeared to answer that question with their joint statement Wednesday.
Simply repeal the 'temporary' Bush Tax Cuts, which cost $1 trillion dollars every two years. That would save $5 trillion over a decade. Mission Accomplished.
It's good to see at least a few in the Senate doing what they all should be doing – trying to work together to come up with a solution to this major problem. Most of the rest seem to be just running for re-election by spouting off a bunch of rhetoric that pleases the extremists in their respective parties but does nothing to help produce a real solution to a real problem. Maybe these few can give the rest a lesson in how to effectively legislate.
Ensign and Coburn are locked at the hip when they are both brought up on conspiracy charges. Coburn's dropping out of the "Gang of Six" sends a clear message he will soon be dropping out of Washington, he's in deep you know what.
Simply amazing...there are actually a few reasonable grown-ups in Congress who try to make the institution work.