March 02, 2021

Van Hollen Statement in Support of Gina Raimondo to Serve as Commerce Secretary

Today, U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding his vote to confirm Gina Raimondo to serve as Secretary of the Department of Commerce: 

“As Secretary of Commerce, Gina Raimondo will take on challenges that directly affect my home state of Maryland, including fighting for an inclusive economy with shared prosperity that truly works for everyone. The struggles of low income and minority communities’ hardest-hit by the pandemic have shone a harsh light on inequities ingrained in our economy. Gina Raimondo’s extensive leadership experience has well-prepared her to lead the Biden Administration’s ambitious agenda at the Department of Commerce and to tackle these challenges.

“To root out structural inequality, we must support the work of vital institutions like the Minority Business Development Agency and Economic Development Administration. Small businesses will continue to need assistance for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic and long afterward to ensure that we emerge from this crisis with a more resilient economy. I know Raimondo is committed to these efforts.

“As Secretary of Commerce, Raimondo will also oversee critical Maryland-based federal agencies, and I look forward to partnering with her to support their efforts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, located in Silver Spring, conducts vital work to fight the devastating impact of climate change and protect Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, we must ensure that the United States can compete in international trade by leveraging the International Trade Administration’s enforcement capabilities and strengthening our manufacturing sector. To accomplish this, we should harness the power of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, located in Gaithersburg. Finally, Raimondo must work to improve and depoliticize our census process, which still faces challenges of data accuracy, quality, and protection.

“I am confident in Gina Raimondo’s ability to take on these urgent challenges. I was proud to support her nomination today, and I look forward to working closely with her in the years ahead to build a resilient economy that works for every American.”