Skip to comments.N.H. Sen. Gregg to Head Budget Committee
Posted on 11/06/2004 5:07:20 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Judd Gregg, a conservative who has mixed distaste for deficits with support for federal aid for his home state of New Hampshire, has decided to become chairman of the Senate Budget Committee next year, a congressional aide said Friday.
Gregg, a Republican, would take over the panel when the new Congress convenes in January. Gregg was re-elected easily to a third six-year Senate term on Tuesday.
The current Budget panel chairman, Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., is retiring from the Senate. Gregg has the most seniority among Republicans on the panel who are interested in the job.
Gregg's decision was described by an aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. Members of Gregg's Senate press office did not return messages left on their telephone lines Friday afternoon.
Gregg, 57, will take over the committee at a time when President Bush has mapped an ambitious and expensive agenda for his second term, including overhauling the tax code and reshaping Social Security. It is also a time of record federal deficits - $413 billion in red ink in the government budget year that just ended, with no immediate prospects that the shortfalls will diminish greatly soon.
A former New Hampshire governor, Gregg is chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He underscored his ability to be pragmatic when in 2001 he helped write the Senate's version of Bush's bill to rewrite federal education rules by striking compromises with Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.
Gregg was among only seven Republican senators who voted against Bush's successful 2003 drive to create Medicare prescription drug benefits, arguing it would be too costly. He has been an advocate of Social Security changes that go even further than Bush has proposed, such as raising the retirement age.
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which writes spending bills that control a third of the $2.4 trillion budget, Gregg has championed some federal expenditures. These include spending for special education, though less than many Democrats want, and for colleges in his home state.
I think Gregg and Bush are pretty chummy. Isn't is Gregg who always "plays" the Democrat nominee in the pre-debate rehearsals?
I believe you are right.