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Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D). Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 on Tuesday to confirm Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department.

Why it matters: The agency promotes U.S. industry, oversees the Census Bureau, plays a key role in the government's study of climate change through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and evaluates emerging technology through the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Between the lines: Republican objections to her nomination included her non-committal stance about keeping Huawei on the Commerce Department's "entity list," which blocks U.S. companies from providing the Chinese telecom giant with chips, software, and other components due to national security concerns.

  • Raimondo told the Senate Commerce Committee during her confirmation hearing that she would consult Congress and "review the policy."
  • She later said in written answers to the committee: "I currently have no reason to believe that entities on those lists should not be there."

Background: Raimondo, 49, is a former chair of the Democratic Governor’s Association and Rhodes scholar who co-founded a venture capital firm in Rhode Island earlier in her career.

  • She clashed with unions as she worked to reform Rhode Island’s public employee pension plans and served as a national co-chair for Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign before endorsing Biden, Axios' Hans Nichols reports.
  • Raimondo is Biden's 12th Cabinet nominee to be confirmed by the Senate. She will resign as Rhode Island governor this week, paving the way for Lt. Gov. Daniel J. McKee to replace her for the remaining two years of the term.

Go deeper

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.

Trump's assault on Chinese tech left loose ends galore

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's haphazard war on Chinese tech has left the Biden administration with a raft of unfinished business involving efforts to restrict Chinese firms and products in U.S. markets.

Why it matters: The Chinese and American tech industries are joined at the hip in many ways, and that interdependence has shaped decades of prosperity. But now security concerns and economic rivalries are wrenching them apart.

FAA clears more planes after 5G fears

Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

The Federal Aviation Administration said Thursday it had approved nearly 80% of the U.S. commercial fleet to perform low-visibility landings at airports with new 5G services after fears of signal interference limited 5G rollout.

Why it matters: The FAA approvals will help provide more certainty after the agency raised fears that 5G signals could reduce the accuracy of certain equipment, known as radio altimeters, that helps planes land and take off in inclement weather.