May 31 2011

Obama Commerce pick sets up showdown on trade with Senate GOP

President Obama introduces commerce nominee John Bryson (Charles Dharapak / AP)

By Daniel Strauss and Sam Youngman

President Obama’s nomination Tuesday of John Bryson as secretary of the Department of Commerce immediately triggered battles with congressional Republicans on trade and the environment.

By nominating a former CEO who has extensive ties to corporate America as secretary of Commerce, Obama continued his aggressive courtship of the business community, which began almost immediately after Democrats lost their House majority last year.

Yet Senate Republicans quickly warned that Bryson’s nomination would be stuck until the administration sends Congress legislation implementing three trade deals, with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.

Other Republican lawmakers took Bryson to task for his work with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which he co-founded at the beginning of his career. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called him a “green evangelist,” while Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) warned he might place a hold on the nomination.

Read the rest at The Hill.

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