The confirmation of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, President Biden’s nominee for U.S.
commerce secretary, got off to a rocky start yesterday courtesy of Senator Ted Cruz.
While Democrat blubbered about Raimondo’s cherry pies, the Texas Republican pressed the governor on her economic record at home and the Keystone XL pipeline project.
Cruz also asked Raimondo about a 2019 CNBC report that ranked Rhode Island last for business climate, according to reporting by WJAR.
When Cruz pressed Raimondo on whether certain companies would remain on the Entity List, a list of companies barred from U.S. high tech purchases, Raimondo said she would consult with lawmakers, industry and allies and “make an assessment as to what's best for American national and economic security."
Raimondo’s answer seems at odds with Biden’s Week One decision to open the U.S. power grid to Chinese companies, but consistency toward Red China is unlikely to be a hallmark of Biden’s national security policy.
The Commerce Department under former President Trump took aim at China on numerous fronts, adding dozens of Chinese companies to a trade blacklist, including Huawei, the country’s top chipmaker SMIC, Hikvision and drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology reported David Shepardson of Reuters.
Asked by Senator Ted Cruz if she would keep Huawei on the economic blacklist, Raimondo said she would “review the policy, consult with you, consult with industry, consult with our allies and make an assessment as to what’s best for American national and economic security.”
Senator Cruz also flayed Ms. Raimondo over President Biden’s Day One cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying "Last week, President Biden signed an executive order canceling the Keystone pipeline, destroying 11,000 jobs including 8,000 union jobs. If you were confirmed as secretary of commerce, what would you say to those 11,00 construction workers whose jobs have been destroyed by the stroke of a pen?" Cruz asked.
Raimondo’s answer was classic Democrat command and control economics: "I would say, we're going to get you to work," Raimondo replied. "I would say that climate change is a threat to all of us, and that we will make sure that you have jobs, that you have the skills you need to have a job, and by the way as we meet the needs of climate change, there will be many jobs created, good-paying jobs, union jobs. And should I be the commerce secretary I will fight every single day for every American to have a decent paying job and a chance to compete."
Senator Cruz summed-up his take on Biden’s pick for Secretary of Commerce in classic Cruz fashion, “Only Joe Biden and the Democrats could pick a person who had their state rank dead last in business friendliness during their time as Governor to become the commerce secretary for our entire country. If it wasn’t so damn dangerous it would be comical.”
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo
Keystone XL pipeline