The Hill: Senate committee approves Commerce nominee

The Senate Commerce Committee approved Wilbur Ross’s nomination to be Secretary of Commerce on Tuesday morning, speeding him toward an easy confirmation.

Ross was approved after he coasted through a tame confirmation hearing last Wednesday. Tuesday’s positive recommendation means the full Senate will likely vote to confirm Ross within days.

Ross’s hearing was more informational than adversarial. He faced few tough questions from senators and spent most of the nearly four-hour hearing explaining his views on trade, corporate taxes, infrastructure and the role he’ll play advancing those issues in the Trump administration.
Ross said the administration prefers bilateral trade deals over pacts with multiple nations, sees tariffs as a useful negotiating tool and backs public spending on infrastructure and transportation.

The few tough questions Ross faced pose little threat to his confirmation. Senators didn’t press Ross when he admitted to unknowingly hiring an undocumented household worker. Ross said he fired the worker when he checked his household staff for documentation after Trump selected him for Commerce secretary.