Congratulations Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) you are now officially Lando Calrissian. So first you decided to trade in your Senate seat to be the Secretary of Commerce, a position you actually tried to eliminate in the past. Then you agreed to a deal which allowed for a Republican replacement for your seat, but not one that would run in 2010. Now Obama has already decreased your power before you even get confirmed:
President Obama has decided to bring the U.S. Census Bureau under White House jurisdiction, a move that incensed House Republicans, who fired off a blistering letter to him Thursday, calling it “outrageous and unprecedented” and a “blatant partisan and political maneuver.”
CongressDaily AM (subscription required)
This was pretty much the only upside of Gregg at Commerce, that he would be able to hold back Democratic efforts to radically change the census and mess with Congressional redistricting. Basically, Democrats for many years have wanted to turn the census into a survey. A census is a counting of every single person in the United States. A survey involves guesswork, we use them all the time and they have their purposes. The idea of a census is to remove any guesswork and make sure that you actually count every single person.
Democrats feel that the census “misses” minorities and the homeless meaning that traditionally Democratic areas are not properly counted. Instead of trying to figure out a way to better count such populations, Democrats want to include statistical survey results, taking the census out of the constitutionally required census.
Gregg still has some power as he hasn’t been confirmed or officially relinquished his seat. If Obama really wants Gregg to be his Republican cover man, then he should keep the very limited powers of the Commerce Secretary in tact. Call Gregg and tell him to stop letting Darth Obama “alter the deal”: (202) 224-3324.