United States Department of Commerce
The United States Department of Commerce is one of the fifteen departments comprising the Cabinet of the United States. The department's mission is "is to help make American businesses more innovative at home and more competitive abroad." It was originally created as the United States Department of Commerce and Labor in 1903. It was renamed in 1913, and the labor division was transferred to the newly created Department of Labor. The current secretary of the Commerce Department is Gary Locke
- conducting the Census
- issuing patents through the Patent and Trademark Office
- weather forecasts through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Additionally, the secretary of the Department of Commerce is the 10th person in the Presidential Line of Succession.
President Obama had trouble succeeding in confirming a Secretary. His first nominee, Governor Bill Richardson withdrew himself after several of his donors were investigated by the federal government. His second nominee, Judd Gregg, cited irreconcilable problems with the 2010 Census and economic stimulus bill, and also withdrew from the nomination. The current secretary and third nominee, Gary Locke, was approved by the Senate on March 24, 2009.