, nominated by President Biden to be commerce secretary, appeared remotely earlier than the Senate Commerce Committee Tuesday to speak about what her priorities could be within the job and was requested about how she’d deal with a number of the controversial points below her purview.
Early within the listening to, Raimondo fielded a query concerning the 2020 Census, which President Trump has tried to make use of to have an effect on the way in which congressional seats are divided amongst states. Raimondo informed senators that she would deal with the census in another way.
“I, such as you, consider we have to take the politics out of the census, and we have to depend on the specialists,” she stated. “The specialists and statisticians on the Census Bureau are prime notch, so I, as soon as confirmed, intend to depend on them. And in the event that they advise that extra time is important, then I will observe the lead of their experience.”
Mr. Trump tried to exclude undocumented immigrants dwelling within the U.S. from being counted final yr, which might possible have affected the apportionment of congressional seats, however the transfer was met with, and, partly due to the pandemic, the Census Bureau missed its year-end deadline to submit the numbers that that might be used to divide the seats.
Raimondo’s affirmation listening to comes because the U.S. struggles to regulate COVID-19 and amid an financial disaster that has compelled hundreds of thousands out of labor. Whereas she is targeted on American manufacturing and local weather change, she stated the nation should first “instantly tackle the financial injury” brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
“COVID has touched each neighborhood — city, rural, suburban, tribal — and exacerbated the longstanding inequities going through low earnings households,” she stated.
Raimondo mentioned the Commerce Division’s function in tackling the financial disaster, reinvesting in American employees, how she would deal with commerce coverage and manufacturing, in addition to how tackling the specter of local weather change could be coupled with the creation of good-paying jobs.
“I consider that local weather change might be the best risk we face, and likewise there’s a chance to create jobs as we fight local weather change,” Raimondo stated, in response to questioning.
Raimondo confronted probably the most contentious questioning of the listening to from GOP Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who expressed concern that President Biden could be mushy on China and requested her about whether or not Chinese language telecom big Huawei would stay on the Commerce Division’s Entity Listing — its commerce blacklist. Raimondo stated she would decide to assessment the matter and would seek the advice of with allies.
He additionally requested her concerning the Keystone XL pipeline, for which Mr. Biden revoked the allow, and what she’d say to employees who misplaced jobs due to the administration’s resolution to cease the pipeline.
“I’d say we will get you to work,” she replied. “I’d say local weather change is a risk to all of us, and I’ll be certain we’ve jobs for all of us. Good paying jobs, union jobs. And as commerce secretary, I’d combat day-after-day.”
All through her testimony, she dedicated to working with Democrats and Republicans on efforts to assist hospitality and restaurant industries, each hit laborious by the coronavirus. She additionally promised to work on increasing broadband entry in rural and tribal areas.
Raimondo met a largely constructive reception from the committee, and on the finish, Chairman Roger Wicker, a Republican, predicted a speedy affirmation, telling her, “I don’t consider you may be serving as governor of the state of Rhode Island for very for much longer.”
Because the governor of Rhode Island, Raimondo has additionally touted her administration’s enlargement of fresh power jobs — she oversaw the development of the nation’s first offshore wind farm. If confirmed, Raimondo would lead the company that homes the Nationwide Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a division of the Commerce Division tasked with monitoring the local weather and climate.
She has been aggressive about addressing the coronavirus pandemic in her state. In response to Johns Hopkins information, Rhode Island has performed probably the most COVID-19 assessments per capita of any state within the nation. Raimondo was first elected governor in 2014, at a time when the state had one of many highest unemployment charges within the nation, exceeding 11%. Earlier than the pandemic, unemployment had fallen to a 30-year low of three.4%.
“We did it by investing in our individuals via workforce coaching packages, bringing dozens of latest companies to the state, and empowering small enterprise house owners,” Raimondo’s assertion stated.
Earlier than she was elected governor, Raimondo was additionally elected to be the state’s treasurer in 2010. She is a graduate of Harvard, Yale Regulation College, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford College.