Biden Will Nominate Buttigieg For Transportation Secretary

Biden Will Nominate Buttigieg For Transportation Secretary”

Buttigieg, who was also running for the presidency, had rolled out a $1 trillion plan with a focus on upgrading America's infrastructure and expanding the broadband Internet access through payment to state and local governments.

On December 13, CNN first reported that Buttigieg was being considered for the transportation role, with other candidates that reportedly included Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The transport department is expected to play a major role in Biden's push for a bipartisan infrastructure package.

If confirmed by the Senate, Buttigieg would be the first openly gay Cabinet secretary.

The former mayor was considered for several other posts, including US ambassador to the United Nations and commerce secretary after catching Biden's eye during the primaries earlier this year as an emerging star in the Democratic Party.

The Secretary of Transportation position is now held by Elaine Chao.

Biden praised Buttigieg at a March event in Dallas, comparing him to his late son Beau Biden who died of brain cancer.

"His voice as a champion for the LGBTQ community in the Cabinet room will help President-elect Biden build back our nation better, stronger and more equal than before", Alphonso David, the group's president, said in a statement.

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"To me, it's the highest compliment I can give any man or woman", Biden said in March as Buttigieg offered his endorsement.

"Pete's nomination is a new milestone in a decades-long effort to ensure LGBTQ people are represented throughout our government - and its impact will reverberate well-beyond the department he will lead", said Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Institute.

"Transportation is an issue that touches all Americans - urban, rural, coastal and in the heartland of our nation".

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a Transportation Department agency, has not had a Senate-confirmed administrator since January 2017.

Biden developed an affection for Buttigieg, whom he has said reminds him of his late son Beau, and made it a priority to find a post for the Hoosier, who is unlikely to win a statewide election in barn-red in anytime soon. It's a role Biden sees as central to his Build Back Better agenda.

Buttigieg would be tasked with carrying out one of Biden's chief campaign promises, repairing America's crumbling infrastructure by rebuilding roads and bridges.

Elected mayor at 29, Buttigieg, a policy wonk by nature, ushered in a series of transportation-related reforms in his hometown of South Bend, including overhauling the city's street grid with the adoption of Smart Streets, streetscapes designed for easy and safe use by pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and public transit riders. Buttigieg, a South Bend native, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 2004. The project received awards for environmental protection.

Buttigieg was surprisingly competitive during the Democratic Party primary, winning the first-in-the-nation caucuses in Iowa, showing formidable fundraising might and enjoying massive popularity on social media.

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