Commerce nominee with Boeing ties comes to Senate committee

President Obama's nominee to be the next Commerce Secretary will come before a Senate committee this week.

Obama tapped Bryson, 67, to replace outgoing Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who is leaving the post to serve as Ambassador to China. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will consider the nomination Tuesday.  

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The nomination has been met with criticism from opponents of the National Labor Relations Board's legal complaint against airplane manufacturer Boeing for allegedly locating a new plant in South Carolina to retaliate for strikes by union workers in Washington state. Bryson is a member of Boeing's board of directors.


South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham (R) has threatened to block the nomination unless President Obama disavows the NLRB complaint. Graham is not a member of the commerce committee, but his fellow South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint (R) is. DeMint has been equally as critical of the NLRB lawsuit.

The commerce committee will also look at the U.S. Coast Guard's budget Thursday.

Also thisweek, the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday will look at rail and public transit security, which has taken on  a higher priority for lawmakers after it was revealed that terrorist Osama bin Laden considered targeting trains before he was killed.

In the House, the Transportation and Infrastructure's subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation will the reliability of GPS technology in the aviation industry Thursday.