Reluctant to call it quits, key lawmakers bargained into overtime Thursday on the $790 billion economic stimulus legislation before reaching final agreement more than 24 hours after first announcing a deal. Lingering controversy over school-modernization money and a scaled-back tax break for businesses forced a delay in final votes on the legislation. But by nightfall, with Democratic leaders eager for final passage by the weekend, all issues were reported settled.
Saying "I made a mistake," Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire abruptly withdrew as commerce secretary nominee on Thursday and left the fledgling White House suddenly coping with Barack Obama’s third Cabinet withdrawal. Gregg cited "irresolvable conflicts" with Obama’s policies, specifically mentioning the $790 billion economic stimulus bill and 2010 census in a statement released without warning by his Senate office.