Economics

Gregg Bows Out As Commece Secretary, Citing Stimulus

|

Congress has not yet approved the final version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and already the legislation has stimulated Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) to reconsider joining Barack Obama's Cabinet as commerce secretary:

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.

The census-related issue to which Gregg refers is Obama's decision to have the director of the Census Bureau report directly to the White House. Gregg's statement is here. His decision earned him a Least-Objectionable Legislator Award from the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Wayne Crews.

My first and last post on Gregg running the Commerce Department is here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Just Say Neigh

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. “We need a robust one,” he added. “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.”

    “I’m going to support something that I think makes sense, and I think a major stimulus package, and I have said that all along, makes a lot of sense and the Senate is still working its will and I expect it will come up with an even stronger package than the package that left the House.”

    Sen. Gregg

    link via Sullivan

    Basically, he was for it before he was against it.

  2. Fool. You don’t like the status quo, so you turn down a position of more influence to do something about it??! 1 vote in the US senate vs. the sec’y of commerce!?

  3. Is Commerce influential? Why do we even have a Commerce department?

    No telling what really motivates him, but I’d refuse to be part of this administration, too, if I had the ability to oppose it in Congress.

  4. Wow – six billion $$$ worth of Bush deficit “stimulus” and he hides like a coward but a chance to retain the USA free trade mantle and he – turns cowardly again….

    Purely a political hack this Gregg guy.

  5. oops – that is six TRILLION of Bush deficits.

    Just a few zeros – nothing too important.

  6. Yeah, how many Iraq appropriations bills did ol’ fiscal conservative Gregg vote against?

    But what now with the lady that was supposed to take his seat? Does Gregg call her and say “oh, PSYCH beeotch.”

  7. But what now with the lady that was supposed to take his seat? Does Gregg call her and say “oh, PSYCH beeotch.”

    “Look, I know this hurts. It hurts me. But if I don’t do this, Rush Limbaugh will call me names. On the radio.

  8. “Look, I know this hurts. It hurts me. But if I don’t do this, Rush Limbaugh will call me names. On the radio.”

    At least until the Fairness Doctrine kicks back in.

  9. He probably didn’t pay his taxes, like all the other “Leona Helmsley” Congressionaly members…

  10. Why would liberals want to restore the fairness doctrine? The shit that those guys say is better advertising for the democratic brand than anything Obama has ever done. This goes double now that republican lawmakers are openly taking their marching orders from talk radio. This isn’t the 90’s, white males are no longer a critical swing vote, and fat multiple divorced drug addicts just don’t have the cultural appeal they used to. As a liberal, I want more talk radio, and more vicious. I want Limbaugh and Hannity and Medved quotes put on billboards. I want a future where young people will continue to recoil from the republican party.

  11. Maybe he feared Pro Lib’s Thunderdome scenario for all department heads of the federal government. Just sayin’.

  12. Census reports directly to the prez… Hmmm, it seems the Obamanoid is planning some empirial gerrymandering. Dems yesterday, Dems today, Dems forever more.

  13. Max Hats

    Looks you have Hatter’s Disease.

    No wonder the Leftwing wants talk radio turned off. Because it rallies Americans to Obama’s cause.

    Then they’d be encouraging talk radio wouldn’t they?

    Tell us the truth did you graduate from the same university as Obama? Did you have the same SAT? I mean you do get a minimum score for signing your name right?

    Scary that you actually walk among us.

  14. Congress has not yet approved the final version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and already the legislation has stimulated Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) to reconsider joining Barack Obama’s Cabinet as commerce secretary.

    Great. Can we get rid of the department now and save everybody a whole lot of time and trouble with appointee #3?

  15. oops – that is six TRILLION of Bush deficits.

    Just a few zeros – nothing too important.

    A trillion here, a trillion there. Pretty soon, you’re talking about real money.

  16. Let’s just say that Commerce is screwed when I get into power.

    I wouldn’t go around talking about Bush’s deficits if I were a Democrat. Y’all are going to break that record in less than a single term, the way things are going.

  17. The census-related issue to which Gregg refers is Obama’s decision to have the director of the Census Bureau report directly to the White House.

    Which is, mind, blatantly illegal. The Census, by statute, reports to the Secretary of Commerce, and Congress has plenary authority to direct the census operations by law under Article I, Section 2.

  18. Well, since the Commerce Department is part of the Executive Branch, the director of the Census CONSTITUTIONALLY reports to the Executive Branch. And, incidentally, the White House has ALWAYS worked with the Census Director to address issues of organization.
    This is a strawman, and to repeat it is just silly. The Census Director reports to the Commerce Secretary. The Commerce Secretary is part of the Executive Branch of government. He reports to the President. What exactly is wrong with that?

  19. No wonder the Leftwing wants talk radio turned off. Because it rallies Americans to Obama’s cause.

    No one cares about the Fairness Doctrine. It’s not coming back.

  20. “The census-related issue to which Gregg refers is Obama’s decision to have the director of the Census Bureau report directly to the White House.”

    I wonder why there has not been more of a stink raised about that before now. Obama naming a Republican to Commerce and then trying to give that Department’s most important constitutional responsibility to a purely political appointee is a clear indication that Obama intends to game the Census for partisan purposes. Obama’s looking rather corrupt and ham handed in all of this.

  21. “You don’t like the status quo, so you turn down a position of more influence to do something about it??! 1 vote in the US senate vs. the sec’y of commerce!?”

    But that 1 vote in the Senate is his own voice. As Commerce Secretary Gregg might be able influence Obama’s thinking, but in the end will have to carry out Obama’s orders or resign. I suppose Gregg realized that he was not going to have much influence over Obama’s policy, at least not enough to justify eating the turd sandwich Obama was going to serve him with.

  22. The last few censi have run pretty well, I think. Yes, there have been arguments as to whether the homeless were counted, and for the statistics used to adjust from systematic errors, but I can’t really remember any serious problems with it, organizationally.

    So why would Obama want to make such a significant organizational change? Especially when there is so much on his plate? It’s not likely Obama was sitting bored in his office and someone pitched a proposal to him.

    I strongly suspect that the Democrats are attempting to establish a Rovean permanent Democrat majority. One of the tools for accomplishing this is to control how seats are apportioned in the house.

  23. Tarran: Bingo. The Democrats have long claimed that homeless and minorities are undercounted, and want to use sampling and other estimates to increase counts in Democrat areas.

    Of course, they can only do this by ignoring the plain language of the Constitution (“enumeration” means counting, not estimating), but how often does that stop them?

  24. Boston Dreams:

    I think you forget that the Constitution mandates that Commerce conduct the census not the White House. In case you forget it, all agencies have a responsibility to uphold the law not the White House’s bidding so there is a vast difference between an objective report and one conducted by the Chicago school of voter resurection and registration.

  25. I think you forget that the Constitution mandates that Commerce conduct the census not the White House.

    You’re knowledge of the Constitution is hilarious. The Department of Commerce did not exist until 1903.

  26. My spelling of “your” is also hilarious. Ugh.

  27. BURN!!!!!!

  28. Couldn’t they have come up with an acronym to fit ABBA instead of ARRA? Seriously, I expect good acronyms out of my lame government. It is one of the few aspects it excels in.

  29. This is a strawman, and to repeat it is just silly. The Census Director reports to the Commerce Secretary. The Commerce Secretary is part of the Executive Branch of government. He reports to the President. What exactly is wrong with that?

    Right. And if a Republican President had tried this, there would be no opposition. I mean, why didn’t Bush let Rove run the Census?

  30. “Why would liberals want to restore the fairness doctrine?”

    a few of them are nuts, but the real answer is that being a persecuted victim is tremendously important in this culture. and when actual persecutions aren’t interesting enough to use, manufactured persecutions are required.

    the fairness doctrine is one of those manufactured persecutions, a la back in the 90s when the crazed militias were going to overrun american cities. (remember those heady days of liberal paranoia?)

  31. This is a strawman, and to repeat it is just silly. The Census Director reports to the Commerce Secretary. The Commerce Secretary is part of the Executive Branch of government. He reports to the President. What exactly is wrong with that?

    I think you’re on to something.

    I got tired of waiting for my paycheck from the payroll manager, so I just went into the firm’s bank account and withdrew the money directly. They don’t need to worry, I only took what was coming to me. Honest!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.