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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Gangs of Politics

The "Gang of Six" is a bipartisan group of senators attempting to work out an agreement on deficit reduction. The six are Democrats Warner (VA), Durbin (IL), Conrad (ND), and Republicans Chambliss (GA), Crapo (ID), and Coburn (OK).

The "gang" term comes from the "Gang of Four," a Chinese political faction that abruptly and dramatically lost power in the 1970s. American politicians adapted the phrase for their own purposes.

The "Gang of Seven" was a group Republican freshmen who entered the House in the 1990 election and went on the attack over congressional ethics. They included John Boehner (R-OH), who is now Speaker of the House.

The "Gang of Fourteen" was a bipartisan group of senators who helped avert a 2005 crisis over judicial filibusters. One member was John Warner of Virginia, no relation to his Democratic successor, Mark Warner.

In 2009, a different "Gang of Six" sought bipartisan Senate agreement on health care.