Obama picks Republican senator for commerce job

Republican Sen. of New Hampshire has accepted Obama's offer to be commerce secretary, officials said.

Obama picks Republican senator for commerce job

Obama will name a third prominent Republican to his cabinet on Tuesday, nominating Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire as commerce secretary, a White House official said.

Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire has accepted President Barack Obama's offer to be commerce secretary, two administration officials said Monday.

A respected lawmaker and accomplished negotiator, Gregg, 61, is the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and could help the Democratic Obama administration achieve its goal of moving Congress from partisan bickering to consensus building.

"The president plans to nominate Sen. Gregg as his nominee for Commerce secretary tomorrow," said a White House official who spoke condition of anonymity.

Gregg could also help Obama soften resistance among Republicans opposed to the terms of an $800 billion-plus economic stimulus package the new president is trying to push through Congress.

Gregg has said he would not take the cabinet job if it would give the Democrats a legislative advantage in the Senate.

"I have made it clear to the Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle and to the governor that I would not leave the Senate if I felt my departure would cause a change in the makeup of the Senate," The New York Times quoted Gregg as saying.

"The Senate leadership, both Democratic and Republican, and the governor understand this concern, and I appreciate their consideration of this position."

Democrats control 58 seats in the Senate and are leading in one other undecided race, just short of the 60 seats needed to clear Republican procedural hurdles.

Democrats could pass legislation much more easily if they were to reach that benchmark because they also enjoy a wide margin in the House of Representatives.

Reuters
Last Mod: 03 Şubat 2009, 12:34
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