POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 4:07pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, February 17, 2010 - 2:23pm

GOP wants more input into stimulus package...

Former Senator Tom Daschle withdrew his nomination to be Health and Human Services Secretary Monday after admitting a failure to pay taxes.

Daschle said he was sorry for late payment of $128,000 in taxes.

With Daschle's departure President Obama lost his point man on health care reform.

He also lost a senior economic aide who stepped aside over tax problems.

"They both decided and recognized that their nominations would distract from the important goals and critical agenda that the President put forward," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

All this comes while the $885 billion economic recovery plan is debated in the Senate.

Democrats have proposed doubling the spending on highways to $40 billion, as well as spending $12 billion more for water and mass transit projects.

Republicans want less spending and more focus on housing, a plan to provide 4%, 30-year mortgages guaranteed by the government.

"According to this proposal the average family would see its average monthly mortgage payment drop by over 400 dollars a month," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In the middle is President Obama, who nominated a Republican, Senator Judd Gregg, for his economic team as Commerce Secretary, and urged Democrats to compromise with Gregg's Republican colleagues.

"With the stakes this high, we cannot afford to get trapped in the same old partisan gridlock," President Obama warned.

With no offsetting cuts, the recovery package has now grown to nearly one trillion dollars.

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