February 12th, 2010
03:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Senior GOP senator is concerned about Obama commission

Washington (CNN) – Sen. Judd Gregg, the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, is expressing doubts about President Obama's plan to create a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission.

"I don't think it accomplishes the goal," Gregg said Friday in an interview. But the New Hampshire senator, who is retiring at the end of the year, said he is willing to look at the specifics before passing final judgment.

Obama is expected to sign an executive order within the next 10 days to create the commission, which would make recommendations to Congress for reducing the deficit, estimated at $1.3 trillion this year.

But Gregg said that only a commission created by Congress would have the power to force the legislative branch to make changes necessary to reduce the deficit.

Along a 53 to 46 vote last month, the Senate rejected a measure sponsored by Gregg and Sen. Kent Conrad, D-North Dakota, to create a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission which would force votes in Congress.

"A lot of things don't pass the first time," said Gregg, who added that he wants Congress to have another chance to vote on creating a commission.

Gregg said that he believes any deficit-reduction commission created by the president will wind up writing "just another good report that ends up on a shelf somewhere."

Gregg had been tapped by Obama to be his Commerce Secretary, but withdrew his nomination because of policy differences.
The New Hampshire Republican said he has another idea for how the government could get its fiscal house in order.

"Stop spending," Gregg said. "Let's stop spending. Let's stop adding to the debt."

Filed under: Judd Gregg • President Obama
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. opticecho

    I'm so tired of the GOP just trashing any idea Obama has without trying at all. I don't think I'm alone here either ...

    February 12, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  2. Marc

    "Stop spending," Gregg said. "Let's stop spending. Let's stop adding to the debt."
    Mr. Gregg, except for die-hard Libertarians, every economist agrees that the spending is a necessary evil to help the economy since, in the long-term it ends up giving trouble to the economy itself.
    But for now its still necessary.
    The 'spending' helped to avoid a Depression, but we are still in a Recession and there are still a lot of work to do, and this work needs funding, so...

    February 12, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  3. ed

    This commission is a dog and pony show. If you want to cut the defict you need to reform Social Secury and Medicare – that means cutting them in half not expanding as being proposed...

    February 12, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. Snerdly, the invisible token

    He loved spending with his republican credit card under Bush and now wants us to pay his bill?Judd?The name alone tells me his momma had a defective gene.

    February 12, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    A non-binding commision is just what Obama wants – it will make him look so good, but accomplish nothing. He will just wring his hands and say "I tried, I tried, elect me again!"

    If he really wanted a binding bi-partisan commision he would would give it more than one try, like most legislation in DC. If he was serious, and not promoting himself and his buddies.

    February 12, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Charlie in Maine

    What I' shocked! Shocked I tell ya! A Republican is expressing doubts about an Obama intitiative. Say it ain't so .

    February 12, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Willa-PA

    Just say no again instead of beating around the bush...nothing will get done unless it is the GOP way.

    February 12, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Maybe a few more cuts are needed. Cut salary for congress by 20%, cut what WE pay for their health insurance by 100%, cut their transportation costs to get "home" every weekend, and on and on. That's a bunch of money wasted.

    February 12, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Josette

    You are not alone.

    February 12, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. pianofan

    Gregg retiring at the end of the year? That's wonderful news – this is the flakiest guy in the senate. Here he is, again, badmouthing an Obama idea that Gregg himself espoused in the not distant pass.

    Don't let the doorknob hit you on the butt on your way out, dude.

    February 12, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  11. Issano

    Judd Gregg is a a malcontent, who needs to retire with grace and dignity. Gregg should stop whining and be patriotic. The GOP has the lowest ratings in the senate and that is a reflection of how the American people feel about them.

    February 12, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. Gene from Georgia

    Keep digging, GOP, keep digging.

    February 12, 2010 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  13. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Gregg is just another GOPer who just wants to do nothing. As President Obama has previously said, it's always easier to want to do the things which are easy and never want to do the things that are hard. Gregg is a shinning example of exactly that along with the rest of his buddies.

    February 12, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  14. obamacrat

    Yes Sen. Gregg the answer is to "stop spending". The commision is to figure out what to "stop spending" on. Dah!

    February 12, 2010 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  15. Eleanor

    What a shock! A Republican is "expressing doubts" about something proposed by President Obama???! Tell me it ain't so!

    The Republicans, to a man/woman are willing to see this entire country, every last man, woman and child go right the dow drain into destruction and ruin, just so long as it "might" assist their political agenda, or get them re-elected by their constituents.

    Are there any more Un-American people on the face of this planet than the Republicans???

    February 12, 2010 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  16. Who said the Mayans were wrong?

    Judd the dud should retire,but his moneybag must have a cutout bottom.

    February 12, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  17. D.U.T.C.H.

    Ir republicans are so concerned about deficits, why not have a commission to regulate them? A bunch of hypocrasy once again from the right.

    February 12, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  18. Jillian, CA

    Of course he's concerned because he's from the "Party of No". That means:
    No ideas
    No support
    No bipartisanship
    No hope
    No change
    No understanding of people pain
    No interests in anyone but themselves and their rich friends

    And when I vote, I will vote Yes–to the Democrats.

    February 12, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. jc

    The smell of bacon leaving the room. Congress has this fear that they will not get their pet projects funded and they will have nothing to show voters that they are doing their job.

    Here is a new thought. It should be a sign of shame if any congressman or Senator has to ask the federal government for money for their districts. Funding for new bike tails or local parks or improvements for cities or towns. These should be funded by the locals or on the state level, out of state funds. This idea that the fed has unlimited funds for any project is why we have these huge deficits.

    Stop all pork projects, then give the President the line item veto and make congress live within its revenues. I do and so do others. Why cant our government?

    February 12, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  20. Eleanor

    One more thing for Congress....TERM LIMITS!!!

    We needs them now!!!

    February 12, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  21. Ted

    There is an easy solution to Senator Gregg's worry. Senator Gregg could lead the effort to get a Congressional commission. Wait, but that would be actually doing something instead of trying to keep President Obama from actually solving problems. The GOP were for the idea before they were against it.

    How do you get the GOP to worry about the deficit? Put the Democrats in charge.

    February 12, 2010 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  22. Deb/Alabama

    So ONLY a commission created by CONGRESS can force CONGRESS to make changes to reduce the deficit. I tell you what, CONGRESS better get on the stick and make some reductions in our deficit or they are going to be history. Most of them are anyway. All their special interests and lobbying partners need to be a thing of the past. Everyone needs to seriously look at how deep in debt we are and we all need to face the facts that we are going to have to pay our share of the taxes. American people are suppose to pay taxes. Where else do you think the government is going to get it. They should not borrow another cent.

    President Obama needs to cut a little deeper. We can do this. We will come out of this recession stronger and a lot smarter.

    February 12, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  23. JJ in NY

    More smoke and mirrors from the obama administration .... they're really just looking for more excuses rather than taking the blame for massive irresponsible spending and the huge deficit .

    February 12, 2010 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  24. Aspen Professor

    "Sen. Judd Gregg, the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, is expressing doubts about President Obama's plan to create a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission."

    Oh good grief, we cannot cooperate with the Dems and participate in solving the economic problem! That would mean the Repubs were helping to smooth economic waters BEFORE the 2010 elections.

    AND - Fewer Repubs could point to the phony (Bush Caused it) economic mess that the Repubs are trying to pin on Obama without much success except among the Team Partiers and the right-wing extremists.

    That cooperation would be an election disaster for the Repubs.

    February 12, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. TCM

    Bad news for Bush? Blaming the economy on Bush? What kind of reporting morons do you hire, CNN? Bush is history....he's no longer responsible to any single citizen, yet, in the ignorant liberal mindset, you see fit to continuously run anti-Bush articles...as well as anti-Palin articles...when they have ZERO to do with running the country.....

    To top it off, OBama, and the liberals have DESTROYED our economy since their assumption of congress in 2006. The Chicago-style thug treatment of lenders to provide high risk loans to high risk recipients fueled the mortgage and market meltdown...sure, BUSH had some doing; however, his focus was on keeping us safe after 9/11, and he did so. Obama's focus is the economy, health care and jobs...none of which he's done anything positive; only negative. We're better off if Washington stayed snowed in for the next 3 yrs, stranding him to the White House....

    February 12, 2010 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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