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Senate panel OKs Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary

Updated: July 12, 2013 6:37AM



WASHINGTON— Penny Pritzker’s nomination to be the next Commerce Secretary advanced to the full Senate on Monday, following the unanimous approval of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

There is no date set for the Senate vote for the Chicago billionaire business executive and philanthropist, a close friend and fund-raiser for President Barack Obama.

“I look forward to voting to confirm her as Commerce Secretary soon,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

The panel also sent to the full Senate the nomination of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next Transportation Secretary.

“I urge my colleagues to act quickly now to schedule votes on their nominations,” said Commerce Panel chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.).

Pritzker, who sailed through her May 23 confirmation hearing, is expected to be confirmed by the Senate.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the Commerce panel ranking Republican–who signaled after the hearing he would back Pritzker, said in a June 6 statement about Pritzker, “While the president has had strong words for others who have benefitted from offshore tax havens, we should not let his double-standard on this issue stand in the way of a qualified nominee.

“I expect Ms. Pritzker will use her private sector background to be a strong voice for lowering regulatory burdens, lowering taxes for businesses large and small, and promoting job creation in the private sector if she is confirmed as our next Secretary of Commerce. I also welcome her commitment to work on making more federal spectrum available for wireless mobile services, which is a critical part of driving our innovation economy. I appreciate Ms. Pritzker’s willingness to serve as Commerce Secretary and plan to support her nomination at next week’s markup.”



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