WASHINGTON (AP) — Former wrestling entertainment executive Linda McMahon cast herself as a job creator in her bid Tuesday to become the next leader of the Small Business Administration.
McMahon, who stepped down from WWE in 2009 for two unsuccessful Senate runs in Connecticut, told the Senate panel considering her nomination that she helped build a business from scratch, transforming it into a global enterprise with more than 800 employees.
McMahon said she and her husband started out sharing a desk. She recalled questioning whether she had enough money to continue leasing a typewriter or whether they could purchase it.
“Like all small-business owners, I know what it’s like to take a risk on an idea, manage cash flow, navigate regulations and tax laws, and create jobs,” she said.
In her political campaigns, Democrats criticized McMahon for building an organization that peddled violent and sexually explicit content, but Tuesday’s hearing focused on how she would advocate for small businesses in the Trump administration. Based on the questioning and comments from the hearing, she’ll comfortably win confirmation.
Indeed, her opponents in those Senate races in Connecticut said they were confident McMahon would give good advice to President Donald Trump on policies affecting small businesses.
“Politics can’t work if political grudges never die,” said Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy.
McMahon spent about $100 million of her own money in her Senate races and was a major contributor to political action committees seeking to help Trump in November’s election.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the top Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, said she was concerned that in seeking political office McMahon had advocated for merging the Small Business Administration within the Commerce Department.
McMahon said in running for the Senate that she was focused on reducing duplicative programs, a concept that she said President Barack Obama had discussed as well.
“I am a firm believer that SBA needs to be a stand-alone agency,” McMahon said.
Sen. James Risch, R-Idaho, the committee’s chairman, said he would seek a quick vote on McMahon’s confirmation. “We’re going to try to move this next week,” he said.
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