Linda McMahon confirmed as SBA leader

Feb 14, 2017 - by Steve Gerweck


(RNN) – The Senate on Tuesday confirmed former WWE chief executive Linda McMahon as the head of the Small Business Administration.

The 81-19 vote in favor bucked a recent trend among President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees. Several have sneaked by on party-line votes, with Republicans owning a 52-48 majority in the chamber.

McMahon co-founded the wrestling company, formerly known as WWF, with husband Vince McMahon, and they grew it from a company with about a dozen employees to a publicly traded one with more than 800 staffers and worth more than $1 billion.

She stepped down from her position in WWE in 2009 to run for office. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the new SBA administrator would prioritize job growth over the growth of government bureaucracy, the AP reported.

A Senate panel moved her nomination forward by an 18-1 vote.

McMahon, 68, ran two unsuccessful bids for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut and is an influential donor to the Republican Party. The two Democratic senators she ran against, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, supported her nomination.

She contributed more than $6 million to a Trump-supporting super PAC, and WWE has been one of the biggest donors to the Trump Foundation over the years. McMahon first supported New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and at one point called some of the things Trump said “deplorable.”

Trump has appeared multiple times on WWE programming and is in the company’s Hall of Fame. His biggest appearance was in 2007, billed as a “Battle of the Billionaires” at WrestleMania 23 between him and Vince McMahon, and it ended with Trump shaving the head of his antagonist.

The SBA provides support to small businesses through loans and monitors officials’ compliance with federal contract laws. President Barack Obama elevated the SBA administrator to a Cabinet-level position in 2012.

McMahon’s confirmation follows two other Cabinet appointees Monday: Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and David Shulkin as the head of Veterans Affairs.

Leave a Reply