Senate confirms McMahon to lead Small Business Administration

By Allen Cone  |  Feb. 14, 2017 at 1:16 PM
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Feb. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly confirmed Linda McMahon, a former World Wrestling Entertainment executive to lead the Small Business Administration.

McMahon, who founded the WWE with her husband Vince in 1980, was approved 81-19 in one of President Donald Trump's least combative nominations. The Republicans have a 52-48 majority in the Senate.

McMahon, 68, has no government experience but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said her background as leader of the WWE, which grew to $659 million in revenue in 2015, would help small businesses.

"McMahon, who built a small company from the ground up, understands the many challenges small businesses can face," he said. "She certainly come a long way from sharing a desk with her husband and leasing a typewriter."

McMahon also had the support of two Democratic senators from Connecticut who defeated her in two general elections -- Richard Blumenthal in 2010 and Chris Murphy in 2012.

During the hearing, McMahon said she supported keeping the SBA as a standalone agency rather than folding it into the Department of Commerce.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, the top Democrat on the committee, backed McMahon despite opposing many of Trump's nominees.

"Mrs. McMahon shares my vision for a strong SBA that will support America's entrepreneurs," Shaheen said. "And I was particularly pleased to learn ... that she opposes efforts to merge the SBA into another agency."

McMahon was active in Republican politics as a donor after leaving WWE.

"Small businesses have had some tough blows in the last decade," McMahon said in her opening remarks. "I know what it's like to take a hit."

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