POSTED: Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 4:32pm

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

GOP requests more input into stimulus package...

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

It's an embarrassment to President Obama, who's trying to focus on the economy and his stimulus plan in the senate.

White House officials say this was Daschle’s decision, based on ethical standards and not wanting to distract attention from the big stimulus debate on the hill.

The former Senate Majority Leader said that he was sorry for late payment of $128,000 in taxes.

“Ultimately, it's important that there aren't two sets for rules: one for prominent people and one for ordinary people who have to pay their taxes,” said President Obama.

All this as the senate debated the Obama economic recovery plan.

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

Republicans want less spending, more focus on housing, and 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.

But the President on Tuesday nominated a republican, Senator Judd Gregg, as his 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," said the President.

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