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Sununu Keeps a Government Paycheck

Looks like Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.), fresh off an unsuccessful re-election bid, could be pulling a federal paycheck just a little while longer.

Sununu was named Wednesday to the Congressional Troubled Assets Relief Program oversight panel by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), after Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said he was just too busy.

“Due to the impending Senate schedule and my responsibilities to the Budget Committee, Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, and my constituents in the Granite State, I will not be able to dedicate the time necessary to carry out the significant duties associated with the TARP oversight panel and so I have stepped aside,” Gregg said.

Gregg’s loss is Sununu’s gain, as the defeated Senator will have a federal expense account and a fairly high-profile position with which to launch his next career.

Sununu joins fellow Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling (Texas) on the oversight panel. Sununu backed the $700 billion bailout, while Hensarling has been one of its most vigorous opponents and critics.

Democratic Congressional leaders named their picks to the five-person panel a month ago, but they chose wonks, not pols. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tapped Elizabeth Warren of Harvard Law School, while Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) chose Richard H. Neiman, New York banks superintendent. They jointly appointed Damon Silvers, AFL-CIO associate general counsel.

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