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Senate confirms Daley as commerce secretary

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate confirmed William Daley as the new Secretary of Commerce Thursday.

Daley is the brother of Chicago’s current mayor Richard Daley. At his confirmation hearings last week, Daley promised to trim 100 of the 256 political posts at the Commerce Dept. Also Thursday, the Senate Finance Committee forwarded the nomination of Charlene Barshefsky for the post of U.S. Trade Representative.

Barshefsky may still have a bumpy ride before the full Senate holds a vote on her confirmation. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said he has concerns about Barshefsky because she once represented Canada in an international trade dispute. Current law bars anyone who has repped a foreign government from taking the USTR position. Barshefsky is currently the acting USTR.

“I don’t think you can lightly dismiss a law that is on the books,” said Lott, who added that he would make a deci-sion within the “next couple of weeks” about bringing Barshefsky’s name up for a vote on the Senate floor.

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