Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker was confirmed as Commerce secretary on a 97-1 Senate vote, elevating a significant figure behind President Barack Obama’s political rise to a position in his second-term Cabinet.
The nominations of Penny Pritzker for Commerce secretary and Anthony Foxx as Transportation secretary advanced to the full U.S. Senate, bypassing the political fights that have stymied other high-level appointments.
John Bryson, President Barack Obama’s nominee for Commerce secretary, sided with Republicans in Congress, saying companies need lower taxes and that a labor complaint against Boeing Co. was “not sound.”
A man who was in a car struck by a vehicle operated by then-U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson told an emergency operator he thought Bryson was intoxicated and followed the car, according to a tape of that call. Tests later showed Bryson was not drunk.
John Bryson, who became President Barack Obama’s Commerce secretary today, will take a leading role in the effort to reduce an unemployment rate stuck above 9 percent and a push to double U.S. exports.
President Barack Obama asked his nominees for Commerce secretary and trade ambassador to revive U.S. export growth as the administration’s goal of doubling overseas sales by the end of next year slips out of reach.
The health of U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson, now on leave after having a seizure, wasn’t raised as a concern during his Senate confirmation last year, according to the lawmaker who oversaw the process.