Biden nominee for commerce secretary, Gina Raimondo, has governed Rhode Island while it has consistently placed as one of the worst states for business.
When Raimondo took office in 2015, CNBC ranked ranked Rhode Island the 48th state for commerce in its annual listing. In 2019, the state rated dead last in CNBC's ranking. WalletHub also ranked the state last in its own 2019 guide of "Best & Worst States To Start A Business."
Rhode Island had an $800 million federal deficit before the pandemic began and, as of December 2020, had a higher unemployment rate than the national average, at 8.1% and 6.7% respectively.
According to CNBC's 2019 report, Rhode Island has the nation's worst infrastructure, with half the roads and 23% of bridges in less than acceptable condition. To attempt to raise money, Raimondo has charged heavy tolls for tractor-trailers crossing the tiny state, leading to several lawsuits.
The state also had only a 0.6% growth in its GDP in 2018 and only half of its public pension plan funded in 2017.
Raimondo's Senate confirmation hearing was held on Tuesday.