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Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The Senate confirmed billionaire investor Wilbur Ross as commerce secretary


The Senate voted 72-27 Monday night to confirm billionaire Wilbur Ross as President Trump's commerce secretary. 

Monday night's decision makes Ross the 14th member of Trump's Cabinet to be confirmed. There are still seven nominees that have to be voted on. 

Although Ross faced less pushback during his four-hour confirmation hearing than other members of Trump's Cabinet, Democrats questioned his business ties to Russia. 

"Mr. Ross has extensive ties to Russia. He plans to keep making money from his major oil shipping companies while working as Commerce Secretary. He's made billions off the backs of struggling home owners," Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Monday. "He is practically a cartoon stereotype of a Wall Street fat cat."

Warren also questioned the way Ross ran a mortgage lender during the housing crisis. 

Ross is giving up his position at Diamond S. Shipping as part of his ethics agreement, but he will still retain a stake in the company. 

The 79-year-old, who is worth an estimated $2.9 billion has extensive business ties around the world. 

Ross is expected to lead the way, working to re-do the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA was originally negotiated and signed by President Bill Clinton, but Ross said all free trade agreements of this nature should be reevaulated every few years. 

Trump congratulated Ross on Twitter. 


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