Commerce Committee Approves Raimondo Nomination – Cantwell Praises Experience, Knowledge

February 3, 2021

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation advanced the nomination of Governor Gina Raimondo to be U.S. Secretary of Commerce to the full Senate by a bipartisan 21-3 vote. U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, the incoming Chair of the committee, praised Raimondo’s accomplishments in the public and private sector, as well as the many important issues that Raimondo will face as secretary if confirmed.

“As the first woman to be governor of the State of Rhode Island, I think she accomplished a wide range of impressive programs but I'm most impressed by the Real Jobs Rhode Island Initiative,” said Senator Cantwell. “We all know that we need to marry up our future businesses with the skilled workers that they're looking for. This program, the Real Jobs Rhode Island Initiative, served more than 1,700 employers and 11,000 people throughout the state. As a result, she was able to send her state's unemployment rate tumbling to a 30-year low. I'm a firm believer that matching the workforce needs to those of key industry sectors is a way for all of us to see economic growth in the United States, and to help support businesses that are competing on an international basis.”

Senator Cantwell also praised Raimondo’s understanding of science and fisheries issues: “Governor Raimondo understands, coming from a coastal state, the important issues of the maritime issues before this committee, particularly NOAA’s issues on science, weather forecast, fisheries management, coastal restoration, NTIA spectrum management, and NIST research and standard setting so the department's role supporting trade and many other issues are focused on within that sector…these are important issues and having a governor that understands really the historic aspect of a fishing economy, I think will serve our committee well.”

At last week’s nomination hearing, Cantwell secured Raimondo’s commitment to prioritize science and defend scientific integrity at the Department of Commerce. 

Video of Senator Cantwell’s opening statement can be found HERE and audio is HERE.