Senate panel delays hearing for Trump’s Commerce secretary pick

The confirmation hearing for President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Commerce Secretary has been postponed because the nominee hasn’t submitted the proper paperwork.

Wilbur Ross was scheduled to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday.

Committee leaders were forced to push the hearing to Jan. 18 because Ross hasn’t submitted his Office of Government Ethics disclosure form, according to a joint Tuesday announcement from Chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) and ranking Democrat Bill Nelson (Fla.).

“The general practice of the Senate Commerce Committee has been to require complete applications on candidates for Senate confirmation before holding a hearing,” said Thune and Nelson.

{mosads}“We have agreed to postpone Thursday’s hearing until January 18, so that ethics officials have additional time to complete their work and provide relevant information to the committee. We both remain committed to fair consideration of Mr. Ross’ nomination,” they said.

The Hill first reported Tuesday afternoon that the Commerce Committee could delay Ross’s hearing. Nelson told The Hill that Ross hadn’t submitted all of the necessary paperwork, and that the hearing wouldn’t proceed until he did.

“We have not received the paperwork, and I don’t think the hearing would go ahead unless we have the paperwork,” said Nelson, though he said he didn’t “anticipate a problem” with the forms.

A former steel executive and private equity investor, Ross served as an economic adviser for Trump’s campaign. Trump formally picked him to serve as Commerce Secretary on Nov. 30, and he’s expected to play a major role in the administrations efforts to reshape international trade deals.  

Ross is the second Trump nominee whose hearing was delayed because of a lack of necessary paperwork. Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick for education secretary, was also postponed earlier this week.

Senate Finance Committee leaders haven’t scheduled a hearing for Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury Department, also due to a lack of necessary paperwork.

Tags Bill Nelson Donald Trump John Thune

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