Obama taps third Republican to head Commerce DepartmentFebruary 4th, 2009 - 12:04 am ICT by IANS
Washington, Feb 3 (IANS) President Barack Obama named a third prominent Republican to his cabinet Tuesday, nominating Senator Judd Gregg of New Hampshire as commerce secretary.If confirmed, Gregg will be the third Republican to join Obama’s 15-member cabinet, following Defence Secretary Robert Gates and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Obama first nominated New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to be commerce secretary. But Richardson withdrew in early January, citing the distraction of a federal investigation into ties to a company that has done business with his state.
“Judd is a master of reaching across the aisle to get things done,” Obama said at a ceremony at the White House to introduce Gregg.
“He will be an outstanding addition to the depth and experience of my economic team, a trusted voice in my cabinet, and an able and persuasive ambassador for industry who makes it known to the world that America is open for business,” he said.
A respected lawmaker and accomplished negotiator, Gregg, 61, is the senior Republican on the Senate Budget Committee and could help the Democratic Obama administration achieve its goal of moving Congress from partisan bickering to consensus building.
Gregg had said he would not take the cabinet job if it pushed Obama’s Democrats closer to the 60-seat mark in the Senate, thereby allowing them to pass laws more easily. The governor of New Hampshire has agreed to fill his seat with a Republican.
Gregg has a reputation as a fiscal conservative respected on both sides of the political aisle. He helped draw up the Wall Street bailout last year and was one of a handful of Republicans who voted to release the second half of the $700 billion package to Obama.
As head of the Commerce Department, Gregg would help promote US business at home and around the world.
- Obama moving towards Republican senator as secretary of trade - Feb 01, 2009
- Obama to name former Washington governor as commerce secretary - Feb 24, 2009
- Mainstream Republican Candidate Kelly Ayotte Wins New Hampshire Primary - Sep 16, 2010
- Obama names House Republican to top Army post - Jun 03, 2009
- 'Dark horse candidate' will be formidable opponent to Obama: Richardson - Mar 07, 2011
- Obama's commerce secretary pick withdraws nomination - Feb 13, 2009
- Romney sweeps five states, readies to battle Obama - Apr 25, 2012
- American Tea Party backed candidates stun Republicans in primaries - Sep 15, 2010
- Obama likely to pick Locke as his Commerce Secretary - Feb 24, 2009
- Gingrich wins key Republican primary in South Carolina - Jan 22, 2012
- 'Granny D' Memorial On Sunday - Mar 11, 2010
- Obama's former Indian-American aide to join politics - Jul 19, 2012
- Obama likely to nominate Gary Locke as new US Ambassador to China - Mar 08, 2011
- Obama trails in swing states: Opinion poll - Dec 14, 2011
- US Senate race: Democrats, GOP claiming perceived leads, victories - Oct 05, 2010
Tags: bailout, barack obama, commerce secretary, defence secretary, economic team, federal investigation, fiscal conservative, governor bill richardson, governor of new hampshire, judd gregg, member cabinet, mexico governor bill richardson, new mexico governor bill richardson, political aisle, ray lahood, robert gates, secretary robert, senate budget committee, senator judd gregg, transportation secretary