Congress

Trump’s commerce pick opened his wallet for McConnell, Kentucky Republicans

President-elect Donald Trump calls out to media as he greets investor Wilbur Ross at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J.
President-elect Donald Trump calls out to media as he greets investor Wilbur Ross at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, Nov. 20, 2016, in Bedminster, N.J. AP

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, who is Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Commerce Department, has been a generous contributor to the fundraising committees of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republican Party of Kentucky.

According to a questionnaire posted by the Senate Commerce Committee this week, Ross contributed $35,200 to four of McConnell’s committees for his 2014 re-election campaign, as well as $9,800 to the state Republican party.

The McConnell committees included Kentuckians for Strong Leadership, McConnell Victory Kentucky, McConnell Cornyn Leadership Victory and the Mitch McConnell Senate Committee.

Ross has made other large contributions to the Republican National Committee, the Republican Governors Association, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and various state Republican parties.

He’s also been a major donor to House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, and his predecessor, former Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

Ross has given more than $1 million to candidates, most of them Republicans, since 1990, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Three other Trump appointees have given more: Linda McMahon, the nominee to lead the Small Business administration; Andy Puzder, the nominee for Labor Secretary; and Betsy DeVos, the nominee for Education Secretary.

Ross, 79, would need confirmation to the Cabinet from both the Commerce Committee and the full 100-member Senate. A hearing has yet to be scheduled.

Curtis Tate: 202-383-6018, @tatecurtis

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