Penny Pritzker Confirmed As Commerce Secretary After Senate Approves 97-1

  @LauraMatt on June 25 2013 3:23 PM

The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm billionaire Hyatt hotel heiress Penny Pritzker as the next secretary of commerce. The final vote count was 97-1. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., was the only lawmaker to vote against her nomination.

President Barack Obama nominated Pritzker, 54, to the post in May and her nod was unanimously approved a month later. She is a Chicago businesswoman and is among the richest people in America. Pritzker is said to be worth $1.85 billion and is one of the wealthiest -- if not the wealthiest -- presidential cabinet members in history. She refused the offer of commerce secretary during Obama’s first term because of a reported possible controversy over her wealth and the reported offshore accounts and complex holding structures her family allegedly has.

At least one senator, Chuck Grassley, has requested more information from the heiress about a $53.6 million compensation she got from a family trust in the Bahamas, according to Reuters. Pritzker used to fundraise for Obama and also personally donated $250,000 to the Presidential Inauguration Committee.

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