Gang of Six

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In the politics of the United States, the Gang of Six refers to one of three bipartisan groups of six Senators consisting of three Democrats and three Republicans. One group, active in 2009, focused on health care reform in the United States during the 111th United States Congress. A different group, active in 2011, is following up the compromise on the United States public debt from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. A third group, active in 2018, is focused on the Senate immigration debate.

Health care, 2009[edit]

During 2009, the Gang of Six consisted of six members of the Senate Finance Committee of the 111th United States Congress who attempted to negotiate a compromise to pass a health care reform bill.[1] Among the bills under consideration at the time were the United States National Health Care Act, the America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, the Healthy Americans Act (Wyden–Bennett), and the America’s Healthy Future Act (Baucus plan).

The six states the legislators represented – Iowa, Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Wyoming – had a combined population of 8.4 million, about the same as New York City, or 2.74 percent of the United States as a whole.[2][3]

National debt, 2011[edit]

As of 2011, the Gang of Six was led by Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Saxby Chambliss and includes four members of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.[4]

In July 2011, the Gang of Six proposed a solution to the US debt ceiling crisis. The compromise would reduce future increases in the deficit by USD $3.7 trillion over ten years and was praised by President Barack Obama.[7][8] The deficit figure quoted represents an estimated reduction in the continued growth of the debt. It also has been met with criticism from congressional Republicans[9][10] and conservative groups for being, according to The Heritage Foundation, "heavy on tax hikes and promises of spending cuts, but devoid of details on how to make the sweeping transformative changes needed to solve our debt and spending crises."[11]

Immigration debate, 2018[edit]

A bipartisan group of six senators proposed changes to border security and immigration laws.[12][13][14] This group comprises a rump of the similarly named Gang of Eight. Chuck Schumer (New York) became the Senate Minority Leader in January 2017 and John McCain (Arizona) has been sidelined due to health issues since July 2017.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ What The 'Gang Of Six' Wants From Health Care Bill, NPR, September 9, 2009
  2. ^ "More on Max Baucus's Gang of Six". Washington July 28, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  3. ^ "Dems sore after being kept out of the room". The Hill. September 16, 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-26.
  4. ^ "'Gang of Six' may solve U.S. debt mess". CNN. 2011-03-10. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  5. ^ "Coburn leaves 'Gang of Six'". Usatoday.Com. 2011-05-17. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  6. ^ "Gang of Six back from the brink - Manu Raju". Politico.Com. Retrieved 2011-07-19.
  7. ^ Taylor, Andrew (July 19, 2011). "Gang of 6 deficit effort gains momentum". Associated Press.
  8. ^ Epstein, Jennifer (July 19, 2011). "Obama praises 'Gang of Six' plan". Politico.
  9. ^ Marin Cogan (July 20, 2011). "Debt ceiling debate causes freshmen to play activist role". Politico.
  10. ^ Felicia Sonmez (July 25, 2011). "Among House Republican freshmen, debt-ceiling uncertainty reigns". The Washington Post.
  11. ^ Acosta Fraser, Alison (July 21, 2011). "What's Wrong with the Gang of Six Plan?". The Foundry.
  12. ^ Alicia Parlapiano (February 15, 2018). "Dreamers′ Fate Is Now Tied to Border Wall and Other G.O.P. Immigration Demands". New York Times.
  13. ^ Tal Kopan and Daniella Diaz (January 17, 2018). "Graham, Durbin introduce bipartisan immigration bill despite setbacks". CNN.
  14. ^ Seung Min Kim (January 11, 2018). "Trump rebuffs Dreamers deal reached by senators". Politico.

External links[edit]