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Sen. Cruz places hold on Biden Commerce Secretary nominee Gina Raimondo

"I'll lift the hold when the Biden admin commits to keep the massive Chinese Communist Party spy operation Huawei on the Entity List," the Texas Republican tweeted.

Updated: February 5, 2021 - 11:49am

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Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has placed a hold on President Biden's nominee to serve as the Secretary of Commerce.

"I'll lift the hold when the Biden admin commits to keep the massive Chinese Communist Party spy operation Huawei on the Entity List," the Texas Republican tweeted.

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation decisively voted 21-3 on Thursday to advance the nomination of Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to serve in the Biden administration post. Cruz and two other Republicans, Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, comprised the three votes in the committee against advancing the nominee, according to the Washington Examiner.

When Cruz asked Raimondo last week during a committee hearing whether she could commit that Huawei would stay on the entities list if she is confirmed to serve in the post, she did not offer such a guarantee. 

"I will commit that once, should I be confirmed and I am there I will review the policy, consult with you, consult with industry, consult with our allies and make an assessment as to what's best for American national and economic security," Raimondo said.

"With respect to Huawei, let me be clear: telecommunications equipment made by untrusted vendors is a threat to the security of the U.S. and our allies," Raimondo stated in written responses to questions. "We will ensure that American telecommunications networks do not use equipment from untrusted vendors and will work with allies to secure their telecommunications networks and make investments to expand the production of telecommunications equipment by trusted U.S. and allied companies.

"In addition, Huawei's ties to China's military, human right abuses, and theft of intellectual property have rightly been a source of bipartisan concern, regulatory action, and legislation in the United States and among U.S. partners and allies. I also am fully aware of and support the provisions of the FY2020 NDAA and Secure and Trusted Telecommunications Networks Act that contain restrictions on Huawei, and look forward to working closely with the Director of National Intelligence, Secretary of Defense, and Director of the FBI to ensure that administration policies and actions related Huawei reflect their national security concerns and judgements as well," she also wrote.