The United States wouldn't even be eligible to enter the European Union if it wanted to because of its debt levels, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) claimed Thursday.

"We won't even be able to get into the EU if we wanted to," Gregg said this morning on MSNBC, "because our government is so large and so huge."

The European Union's Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) adopted in 1997 requires a budget deficit to be less than three percent, and requires a national debt beneath 60 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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"We've been lectured by France on the fact that we're not fiscally responsible right now," Gregg, the would-be commerce secretary, noted with incredulity.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the yearly budget deficit would fall well beyond that threshold in coming years.

Still, Gregg expressed resignation with the likelihood that the Obama administration's proposed budget would emerge successfully from Congress.

"He's in charge, and they've got the votes here in Congress," he said.