Linda McMahon Gets Boost From Former Connecticut Rivals At Confirmation Hearing

Jan 24, 2017

Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy sat side-by-side Tuesday with the woman who ran against each of them in hard-fought, sometimes bitter races, and recommended her heartily for a position in the Trump administration.

Former WWE executive Linda McMahon has been nominated to head up the Small Business Administration.

"This visual is going to be a little amusing and surprising to folks in Connecticut who watched us duke it out," admitted Murphy. "I'm here to support Linda, not because we've magically become of one mind on how we approach every problem this country faces, but because I have confidence that she is going to give good, sound counsel to President Trump."

"I think she would be an excellent fit for this agency, based on her experience and expertise," said Blumenthal. "She knows, as I do, that small businesses are the backbone of our economy."

At the hearing before the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, McMahon emphasized her approach to the job, speaking at length about easing regulatory burdens on small business.

"As an entrepreneur myself, I have shared the experiences of our nation's small business owners," she said. "We are more than our products and services, we are people, we are families."

In response to a question from Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, she said the regulatory environment is costing businesses time, effort, and money.

"They can't afford to hire lawyers to get them through, so either they become more at fault and not in compliance, or they've taken time away from their business to do it," said McMahon.

Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, spoke briefly about her pre-confirmation meeting with McMahon saying she had raised concerns she had about the nominee's own business practices when she was running World Wrestling Entertainment. Duckworth said the two spoke about WWE's use of independent contracts with its wrestlers.

"I don't want that to become the standard that small businesses use 1099 employees to avoid paying and providing the health benefits and the protections," said Duckworth.

The hearing was generally uncontroversial, and chairman Senator Jim Risch, a Republican from Idaho concluded by saying he and the Democratic ranking member, Senator Jean Shaheen of New Hampshire, wanted to move on the confirmation as quickly as possible.