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Nominee No Longer, Gregg Announces Opposition to Stimulus

One day after stepping down as President Barack Obama’s Commerce secretary nominee, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) issued a statement criticizing the president’s economic stimulus plan, saying it “falls short of what is needed.”

“What was initially advertised as a well-intended effort to boost economic growth has become sidetracked by misplaced spending and lack of attention to the true problems facing the nation, especially housing,” Gregg said in a statement released just minutes after the Senate began voting on final passage of the conference committee report.

On Feb. 4, while his nomination for Commerce was pending, Gregg told CNBC that he was supportive of a stimulus plan: “I am 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.”

As the then-nominee, Gregg also said he would abstain from voting when the Senate considered the measure. Gregg now plans to vote on the final version of the plan.

Gregg, who serves as ranking member of the Budget Committee and is one of his Conference’s top fiscal hawks, also criticized the bill’s tax provisions, which make up about 35 percent of the $787 billion stimulus plan.

“The bill’s tax relief provisions will not adequately spur investment and business activity, which are critical for job creation and economic growth,” he said. “With a deteriorating budget situation, we cannot afford a proposal that will saddle future generations with massive amounts of debt with little to show for it in return.”

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