Skift Take

Leaders in travel and tourism have their fingers crossed that Pritzker will not only get confirmation but turn into a hard-nosed advocate for the industry.

The Senate is likely to vote early next week on whether Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker gets the top job at the Commerce Department, a Senate aide said today.

Pritzker, 54, nominated in May by President Barack Obama, is a business executive and Democratic mega-donor whose family founded the Hyatt Hotels chain and is among the nation’s wealthiest. She helped lead Obama’s campaigns for the presidency.

On June 10, Pritzker’s nomination won unanimous approval from the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, a signal that she’s likely to be approved by the full Senate.

The timing of the vote will be set by the Senate’s majority and minority leaders, the aide said, and it’s expected to happen before lawmakers leave next Friday for the Fourth of July recess.

Last Monday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, sent more questions for Pritzker to answer, chiefly about $53.6 million in compensation she received from a family trust based in the Bahamas.

Grassley is expecting Pritzker’s answers early next week, said Jill Kozeny, his spokeswoman.

Meantime, a vote also is expected next week on whether to confirm Anthony Foxx to lead the Department of Transportation. If approved, he would replace Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican and former U.S. congressman from Peoria.

(c)2013 the Chicago Tribune. Distributed by MCT Information Services. 


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Tags: hyatt, politics, pritzker

Photo credit: Penny Pritzker testifies before a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in Washington. Yuri Gripas / Reuters

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