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. gee

    Mikepc45 = nutter

    February 12, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  2. TCM


    "...You're delusional if you think that the last admin isn't responsible for the position we're in – you're in the minority if you actually believe that tripe...."

    What hole in the sand have you had your head in? The last administration was fine, until 2006....and the strong arm tactics the liberals in Congress forced upon lenders...and lenders, in it to make money, sold the high risk debt....and the market collapsed...all due to Obama, Dodd and company in cahoots with Raines at Freddie Mac....when you allow unskilled minorities and illegals to buy houses, because they "...have a right to own a home," instead of earning it...you've just spread the mindset of inner city ghettos to the suburbs...and it shows...everyone's subdivision or neighborhood was invaded by undesirables during the housing boom.....they were "financed," without qualification, and we're all paying for this "fairness," so, when you libs are out of work, and out of your house...blame the liberal democrats in congress, not George Bush...he's at home laughing at your dumb asses! liberalism truly is a disease; unfortunately it's not fatal.

    February 12, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  3. PL

    Something made me think that many posters jump at the headline, post without reading.
    To BerverlyNC, you sneered:"why can't they offer anything positive?"
    Also to Jillian, CA. Read: "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." If that is a good idea by Obama, well, bet it was the democrat majority who voted down the commission that JUDD GREG co-sponsored with democrat senator Conrad.

    Don't put him down too much. He was President Obama's choice to be in his cabinet.

    February 12, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. Lucy, Texas

    Since Obama first took office, the Republicans have denied any responsiblity of the entire mess they made of our country by actually changing laws that enacted after the 1929 Great Depression and selling out America to big business and corporations. The Republicans have never played well with others and it is either their way or the highway. There is no such thing as bi-partisan to the Republicans.

    The Republican talking points don't make any sense if you examine the facts. The Republicans don't want to have "discussions" with democrats because they are more interested in being in power. If anyone is really listening to Republicans, they will realize why the Republicans were voted out in 2009 and why our economy tanked.

    I am very surprised the Republicans aren't overwhelming supporting healthcare. Moderate Alzheimer's symptoms are short term memory loss (the "Bush years"), continually repeating stories and/or asks the same question over and over (talkining points), making up stories to fill gaps, deficits in intellect and reasoning, agitation, paranoia, delusions, or hallucinations are all signs of moderate Alzheimer's disease. In a few years, the Republican party may become Alzheimer's patients....then, are they going to wish they had universal health care.

    February 12, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  5. Danny

    How can Senator Gregg say "I don't think it accomplishes the goal," when the details of the plan haven't even been announced????? At least have the decency to wait until a proposal has been made before you say "NO" Mr. Gregg!

    February 12, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Brian from NJ

    Pay close attention Democrats and Bush bashers...

    There was no "Clinton Surplus"... Each year of Clinton's Presidency the total national debt went up. They were still taking money from Social Security in the form of gov't securities instead of borrowing from the public. You can't have a surplus anything if your total debt is increasing, it is that simple. I am not saying Clinton and the GOP Congress did not reign in spending, but it was not a surplus. And most of the goodness came form the tech bubble. When that burst, we went into a recession, before Bush took office.

    Sheesh, only in DC could they borrow money from themselves and call it a "surplus"!

    February 12, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. veritas

    Gregg is the poster boy for what's wrong with the GOP, aka, The No Party. Immediately Gregg expresses his doubts about Obama's idea of a non-partisan commission.........We then learn that he hasn't read a thing about the specifics. That is exactly why the GOP has renamed itself the "No Party".

    February 12, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Marc

    'TCM – February 12th, 2010 4:39 pm ET
    @ mikepc45 -that's great! they truly are the party of NO...but you need to add: No morals, patriotic values, and above all, no balls.'
    Well, since you can say that (with those pathetic terms) and not be considered 'un-patriotic' by the governments you must be thankful to not be under the previous presidents' term...

    February 12, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Robert

    A senior Republican is "concerned" about Obama's plan to (fill in the blank).

    What else is new????

    February 12, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Snowman Steve

    I understand what the Senator is saying. However, this brings another question to mind. If the Senator knows that only a commission created by Congress has the legislative ability to solve the problem, and he's part of Congress, why is he talking instead of pushing for a commission to be created? A little less talk and a little more action, Senator Gregg. Yet another confirmation that you're part of the Party of NO.

    February 12, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  11. Minnesotan

    More partisan obstruction and manure from the Republicans.... no surprise there!

    February 12, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |

    Kill both bills and start over. That's what the American people want by an overwhelming majority. (Liberals and conservatives alike). Start over from scratch. Let's see compromise. Tort Reform, public option, insurance across state lines; and eliminate provisions that will clearly create constitutional issues, like requiring people to have insurance or go to jail.

    February 12, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |

    The debt reduction committe should have passed, but seven co sponsers of the legislation backed away from signing it......All seven were republicans......While some DEMS did run away from the vote, the 7 co-sponsors of the bill that walked away are significant, b/c they put on a show like they wanted this commision......When the President said okay, they said no way. If you do the math, 53 + 7= 60.....it would have been a supermajority vote......also this means that the GOP had a fiflbuster threshold of 60 votes again..... Anyway, Sen. Gregg is right on one thing: the senate should bring this to a vote again.

    February 12, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  14. KC

    Of ourse he does not like Obama's commission, Judd Gregg is a member of the party of NO for a reason...no ideas, no soultions, no brains. Big suprise CNN, now give us some real news.

    February 12, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. Independent

    Um, hello! Seven GOP co-sponsors of the legislation voted AGAINST their own bill after President Obama extended his support.

    These GOP senators could not look too (gasp!) bipartisan–it's transparent nonsense! Perhaps Sen. Gregg should direct his attention to his Republican colleagues who are playing political games with our country.

    February 12, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Dee

    REPUBLICANS stop acting like a group of arrogant no it all's.

    I lost my job UNDER THE REPUBLICANS I lost my 401K UNDER THE REPUBLICANS. National Security is extremely important in this country but our ECONOMY is also extremely important.

    You are a party that wants us to stay in war and H–LL with our ecomony. People like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, Rowe, Palin and Gingrich are what is wrong with your party.

    Try working with the President instead of always putting this man down.

    We gave Bush 8 years to try and help this country. You have given this President 1 year and expect miracles. STOP ACTING LIKE A BUNCH OF FOOLS AND WORK TOGETHER TO HELP THIS COUNTRY.

    February 12, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. Jim

    At least the President is doing something. If you don't think it will work Senator Gregg, why don't you convince your obstructionist Republican buddies to vote for the bill they sponsored? Don't critcize the President, criticize your own people.

    February 12, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  18. Tony T

    "How can Senator Gregg say "I don't think it accomplishes the goal," when the details of the plan haven't even been announced?????" Can you not read?? It is not enforceable, just another government committee to write another worthless report that has no teeth. You don't need to know anything about the "details" of the plan, to know it has no real value. As far as the party of NO, the people of the United States have been saying NO, NO, NO to this administration and congress since OB took over. Thank the good Lord, the GOP hear us and stopped these loons on the left.

    February 12, 2010 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  19. Flagship, NC

    When Bush (GOP) left office, they left us with a 1.2 Trillion dollar debt.
    Obama up to now has brought it up to 1.4 Trillion. That was spending to save our finanical system.

    The GOP is 100% responsible for the way our country is now!!!
    The numbers don't lie!

    February 12, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  20. Ain't life strange?

    @ Lucy in Texas

    I was going to respond to this until I read you post. No need to... TY

    February 12, 2010 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Nevada dude


    yeah we'v got your number, you GOPers. we know you only say you are the responsible party but have done NOTHING to back up your claims. talk is cheap, and you guys have done nothing but talking. I'm sure there are a few among you that would like to work on reasonable compromises, but you've got the corporate front men Boehnor and McConnel twisting your arms lest they get Limpball and Glenn redBeck and Wany Hannity yelling down their necks.

    February 12, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. ron

    Uhhhh, saying you "don't think it accomplishes the goal" IS passing judgment. More double talk. Next.

    February 12, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  23. True Reformer

    A commission created by Congress? Thats a joke! Our elected representatives have one objective – getting reelected. These a–holes couldn't agree on fleeing a fire if their clothes were on fire!
    With our present partisan stance in Congress the United States is going only one direction – DOWN.
    These same a–holes have sold out the United States to China and international corporations.

    February 12, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  24. Four and The Door

    I guess it got pretty boring going line-by-line through every Federal Government Department to find ways to cut costs. It's much easier and much more popular with his supporters to just keep spending and providing new entitlements and then create a commission to include Republicans so that they can make the decision to raise taxes. In the meantime, those debt ceilings are easy enough to just bump up a few trillion dollars. As if they really mean anything!

    February 12, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  25. Tony L.

    @TCM – Your one of the idiots I was referring to. You want to simply believe that the economic problems we're experiencing happened only since 2006. Wake up! Everybody including conservatives agreed this problem started long ago under a republican administration and a republican congress starting with the unfunded tax cuts, lack of corporate oversite under deregulation (greed), two ridiculous wars, and an administration that believed our economy is "fundamentally sound". That's why I hate conservatives. They're ignorance and lack of education are bringing this country down, and since they can't rely on their own brains to make decisions they rely on Fox News. You TCM sound just like a card carrying Limbaugh/Hannity supporter. Turn off Fox, close your mouth and stop dragging your knuckles on the ground and learn something for a change.

    February 12, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
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