Gregg joins Senate Banking panel

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) has accepted the seat on the Senate Banking Committee left vacant when Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) left the upper chamber.

Gregg issued a statement Thursday saying he looks forward to helping guide and shape polices on the panel, which will have a say in revamping the nation's financial regulatory system.

"The livelihood of all Americans requires a strong, vibrant financial system, and I welcome the opportunity to work toward this goal," he said in the statement.

Gregg had initially been a nominee to head the Commerce Department under the Obama administration, but he withdrew, citing differences with the president over the fiscal stimulus package and concerns over the Census.

Gregg also played a leading role in debate at the end of 2008 to pass a $700 billion package to rescue the financial sector. Gregg is not planning to run for reelection in 2010.