Thursday, February 12, 2009

Judd Gregg withdraws nomination as Secretary of Commerce.

Judd Gregg, the Republican Senator from New Hampshire has announced that he is withdrawing from consideration for Commerce Secretary, citing “irresolvable conflicts” on the stimulus package and the Census. Gregg said in a statement:

However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.
Gregg's statement is surprising because last week Senator Gregg actually gave the recovery package a bit of an endorsement (if half-hearted) saying:

"I think the one that's pending is in the range we need. I do believe it's a good idea to do it at two levels, which this bill basically does, which is immediate stimulus and long-term initiatives which actually improve our competitiveness and our productivity."
Guess I was not the only one surprised by the news as MSNBC is reporting that the White House press office was "surprised" by Gregg's withdrawal, saying that it was "news to them." The Politico is echoing MSNBC in their reporting that the White House was “totally caught off guard” by the news.

Personnally I'm glad he will not be the Commerce Secretary. I want someone who is more progressive, pro-worker, and less beholden to big business.

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