Three senior Senate Democrats have been named to a bipartisan panel established by President Barack Obama to find a plan to wrestle the budget deficit under control.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has named Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana and Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois to the panel, which is charged with recommending spending cuts and possible revenue increases to bring the deficit to manageable levels by 2015.
Obama named the panel's co-chairs, Democratic former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former GOP Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming, last week.
The panel will have 18 members in all; the rest remain to be named.
An administration official said Obama will name the four additional members he can appoint in the next few days. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the appointment process is ongoing.
Many Washington insiders think the panel is doomed to gridlock in this partisan midterm election year.
Associated Press writer Julie Pace contributed to this report.
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