Washington -- Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., was confirmed last week to succeed Sen. Don Nickles, R-Okla., as chair of the Senate Budget Committee and will assume the post in January 2005 when the 109 th Congress convenes.Gregg, who was comfortably re-elected to a third term Nov. 2, currently heads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. The budget post would give the New Hampshire Republican a critical policy-making role in such issues as tax cuts and Social Security reform.

Gregg was quoted as saying that he would advocate fiscal restraint as budget chair. "I intend to bring to the Budget Committee what I call New Hampshire values: You live within your means without raising taxes," Gregg said.

The conservative Nickles had chaired the budget committee since 2002 but announced his retirement from the Senate this year.

Two years ago, Gregg co-authored a bill to extend balanced "pay as you go" rules. The bill required that any tax cut or spending increase be offset by an equal tax increase or reduction in spending.

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