Commerce nominee Pritzker downplays role in management of failed bank

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Judging from the polite questioning from committee members of both parties, Ms. Pritzker’s nomination didn’t suffer any setbacks Thursday. Mr. Thune made a passing reference to the nominee’s “role with and position as a beneficiary of an offshore tax haven,” but said the panel would submit questions to her about that after the hearing. 

On her financial disclosure form, Ms. Pritzker revealed holdings in a trust in the Bahamas, which generated $53 million in income for her in 2012. A spokeswoman said it was one-time compensation for Ms. Pritzker’s work in dividing up the trust, started decades earlier by her grandfather.

Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV, West Virginia Democrat, praised Ms. Pritzker’s record in business and said the administration needs her expertise at a time when automatic budget cuts are “creating a new drag on the economy.”

“We’ve not had a secretary of commerce in a while, and if I can be just a bit brash, we’ve not had a strong secretary of commerce in quite a while,” Mr. Rockefeller said.


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