Moments ago, President Obama nominated Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) to head the Department of Commerce. CQ notes that Gregg has worked in the Senate “to trim the department’s budget as head of the Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee.” In fact, in 1995, Gregg “voted in favor of abolishing the agency”:
Gregg’s 1995 votes were cast for the fiscal 1996 budget resolution, a nonbinding blueprint that outlined the GOP’s fiscal priorities after Republicans won full control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) praises the nomination but adds:
“[T]he apparent behind-the-scenes deal-making that went on to determine who will fill Senator Gregg’s vacancy is alarmingly undemocratic. Once again, Americans will be represented in the Senate for nearly two years by someone they had no hand in electing. As the number of Senators appointed to their seats continues to rise, it’s increasingly clear that we need to fix this constitutional anachronism. It is time to pass a constitutional amendment to end appointments by governors and the political gamesmanship they encourage.”