Gregg calls for re-vote on fiscal panel

Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) said President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaImmigration agents planning raids next week targeting teenage gang members Obama intel chief wonders if Trump is trying to make 'Russia great again' Sean Spicer’s most memorable moments as press secretary MORE should strong-arm his party in order to pass legislation forming a fiscal commission to make recommendations to reduce the deficit.

The legislation calling for the bipartisan panel failed on a 53-46 vote last month. Gregg, a lead co-sponsor of the legislation, wants another vote and thinks Obama should produce the seven votes that fell short.

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The GOP was sharply criticized after the vote fell six votes shy and seven Republicans who were co-sponsors didn’t vote yes. A group of 17 Republicans did back it, including Gregg, who co-authored the bill with Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad (N.D.).

But Gregg on Wednesday noted that Senate Democrats control 60 votes, at least until Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is sworn in.

“The best way to do it is to have another vote, and have them produce a few more votes,” Gregg said. “Clearly, the White House has shown the ability to discipline their party in the Senate, and if they want to pass this, they should be able to … If they can get 60 for healthcare and 60 for pay-as-you-go limits, they can certainly get seven more votes.”

Two senior Democratic aides said no re-vote is under consideration and that Obama's commission is moving forward.

"It was disappointing that Republican supporters of a deficit-reduction commission quickly flip-flopped once President Obama endorsed it,” one aide said. “If they now want to flip-flop-flip, great. But President Obama shouldn’t wait for them before moving forward with his own commission."

Republican Sens. Sam Brownback (Kan.), Mike CrapoMike CrapoBusiness pressure ramps up against Trump's Ex-Im nominee GOP lawmakers introduce measures to repeal consumer bureau arbitration rule Senate Banking leaders introduce flood insurance bill MORE (Idaho), John Ensign (Nev.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), James InhofeJames InhofeMcCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty GOP signals infrastructure bill must wait Lobbying World MORE (Okla.) and John McCainJohn McCainSen. Flake's GOP challenger: McCain should resign The Hill's 12:30 Report Armed Services leaders appoint strategy panel members MORE (Ariz.) all voted against the bill, despite being co-sponsors. A seventh GOP senator, Lisa MurkowskiLisa MurkowskiPro-ObamaCare group targets key senators in new ads The GOP Wonder Women who saved healthcare for 22 million Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan MORE of Alaska, had co-sponsored the bill and planned to support it but was forced to miss the vote for family reasons.

Opponents of the idea, including the defecting co-sponsors, said they objected to delegating congressional control over fiscal decisions; the commission’s authority to recommend revenue-raising ideas such as tax increases; and a perception that the commission wasn’t focused enough on spending cuts.

Gregg’s comment Wednesday came despite clear movement by the White House toward an executive-based panel. Several times in the past week, including in his State of the Union address, at an event with House Republicans on Friday, and again Wednesday before Senate Democrats, Obama has mentioned the panel he plans to create by executive order.

Gregg and Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderSenate panel rejects Trump funding cuts on Energy Department programs Governors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare With healthcare bill derailed, GOP wonders: What now? MORE (Tenn.) on Wednesday were critical of an executive panel, saying it would be weaker than a legislative panel.

Conrad has said in recent days that he doubts any of the defecting Republicans would reverse their votes, and Gregg agreed Wednesday. But Gregg called on Obama administration officials to lobby the 23 Democrats who opposed it to change their minds.

“We’re still believing in a fairly big Republican vote — almost half the conference,” Gregg said. “It seems to me that another vote would have a good chance of passing if the White House really wanted to engage.”

Gregg said he has not personally contacted the White House to lobby for a second commission vote, and does not plan to. “I’ll leave that up to Kent,” he said, referring to Conrad.

The 23 Democrats who opposed the commission last week include Daniel Akaka (Hawaii), Max BaucusMax BaucusOPINION | On Trump-Russia probe, don’t underestimate Sen. Chuck Grassley Lawmakers: Leave advertising tax break alone GOP: FBI firing won't slow agenda MORE (Mont.), Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownGOP Senate candidate attacks Anti-Defamation League for ‘witchhunt' on far right Senate Banking leaders introduce flood insurance bill Major progressive group endorses Martha McSally challenger MORE (Ohio), Roland Burris (Ill.), Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Maria CantwellMaria CantwellOvernight Energy: Exxon sues feds over M fine | Deputy Interior pick advances | Oil concerns hold up Russia sanctions push Dem to seek investigation into Interior staff reassignments Senate advances controversial Trump Interior nominee MORE (Wash.), Ben CardinBen CardinOil concerns hold up Russia sanctions push Compounds’ fate raised after Trump-Putin talk Administration briefs Senate on progress against ISIS MORE (Md.), Bob CaseyBob CaseyDem leaders amp up calls for bipartisan ObamaCare fixes Let’s not roll back bipartisan progress on global food security Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE Jr (Pa.), Chris Dodd (Conn.), Tom HarkinTom HarkinDistance education: Tumultuous today and yesterday Grassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream MORE (Iowa), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Paul Kirk (Mass.), Frank Lautenberg (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyOPINION | Shailene Woodley: US should run on renewable energy by 2050 Gore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Callista Gingrich touts Trump's commitment to environment despite Paris deal pullout MORE (Ore.), Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiGore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Bipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day MORE (Md.), Patty MurrayPatty MurrayLawmakers send McCain well wishes after cancer diagnosis Trump labor board nominees advance in Senate Dems tout failure of GOP healthcare bill MORE (Wash.), Jack ReedJack ReedArmed Services leaders appoint strategy panel members Senators ask for Syria policy study in defense bill Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Pentagon No. 2 | Uncertain future for Iran deal | Trump to visit Pentagon Thursday | Key general opposes military space corps MORE (R.I.), Jay RockefellerJay RockefellerOvernight Tech: Trump nominates Dem to FCC | Facebook pulls suspected baseball gunman's pages | Uber board member resigns after sexist comment Trump nominates former FCC Dem for another term Obama to preserve torture report in presidential papers MORE (W.Va.), Bernie SandersBernie SandersParliamentarian deals setback to GOP repeal bill OPINION | Hey Dems, Russia won't define 2018, so why not fix your party's problems instead? OPINION | They told us to abandon ObamaCare — then came the resistance MORE (I-Vt.), Arlen Specter (Pa.), Debbie StabenowDebbie StabenowWarren on Kid Rock Senate run: 'We all thought Trump was joking,' too Dems abuse yet another Senate tradition to block Trump's agenda Kid Rock hints at Senate run announcement MORE (Mich.) , Tom UdallTom UdallFCC chair: Trump hasn't tried to intervene on Time Warner merger Overnight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Regulation: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule | Labor chief to review overtime rule | Record fine for Google MORE (N.M.) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseGore wishes Mikulski a happy birthday at 'Inconvenient Sequel' premiere Live coverage: Trump's FBI nominee questioned by senators Committees vie to be first to question Trump Jr. MORE (R.I.).

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellParliamentarian deals setback to GOP repeal bill OPINION | How Democrats stole the nation's lower federal courts Flight restrictions signal possible August vacation for Trump MORE (Ky.) wasn’t a co-sponsor but was a one-time supporter of the idea who changed his mind. On CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, he said he did so because the commission wasn’t focused enough on reducing spending.