2 Obama cabinet nominees clear Senate committee

Penny Pritzker

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate committee has voted unanimously to approve President Barack Obama’s nominees to head the Commerce and Transportation departments.

The Commerce, Science and Technology Committee didn’t bother to meet to vote on the nominations of Chicago billionaire business executive and philanthropist Penny Pritzker for Commerce and Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx for Transportation. Senators instead dropped by a room off the Senate floor, where a committee clerk recorded their “ayes.”

Pritzker is a longtime Obama friend who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for his presidential campaigns.

Foxx won national recognition when Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention last year. He was a key surrogate in North Carolina for Obama during his re-election.

Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said he expected Pritzker and Foxx to be confirmed easily.

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