Mr Gregg, who was nominated as Commerce Secretary last week after Governor Bill Richardson had pulled out after he was implicated in a corruption investigation, cited disagreements over the massive economic stimulus bill as a principal reason for his decision.Source: The Telegraph, via Julia M.
Mr Obama promised that his presidency would usher in a new era of bipartisanship in Washington. But while two Republicans, Bob Gates, the Pentagon chief, and Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, remain in his cabinet, only three Republicans out of 219 in Congress voted for the stimulus bill.
Mr Gregg's reference to the stimulus underscored the sharp partisan divide over the centrepiece of Obama's economic recovery plan. Conservatives in both houses of Congress have been relentless critics of the plan, arguing that it is filled with wasteful spending and will not create new jobs quickly.
The Commerce Department has jurisdiction over the Census Bureau, and the Obama administration recently took steps to assert greater control over the 2010 census. Republicans have harshly criticised the decision, charging it was an attempt to politicise the survey, taken every 10 years, possibly in an attempt to redraw congressional districts.