Biden’s Pick for Commerce Secretary Gains Senate Committee Nod


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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo won approval from a U.S. Senate Committee on Wednesday to become President Joe Biden’s Secretary of Commerce. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved Raimondo by a vote of 21-to-3. Full Senate confirmation is still required.

The vote proved she smoothed over Republican fears over how she views Huawei, reported Politico. Earlier, some members thought she was non-committal about the Chinese telecom. In written answers to follow-up questions, Raimondo said she does see Huawei as a threat and sees no reason to take any companies off the trade blacklist.  

She also told Democrats that she would work with the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration to create an Office of Connectivity and Growth “to amplify the work of NTIA’s BroadbandUSA” activities. Raimondo said she opposes 5G nationalization and is “unaware of any present intention” to build such a government network.

Under the previous administration, the FCC and NTIA squabbled over 5G spectrum, Inside Towers reported. On how to solve that, Raimondo told lawmakers she wants such disputes “resolved prior to the issuance of any FCC Decision.” NTIA judgments “should be given extraordinary weight,” she added.

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