Biden and DOT Secretary Nominee Snub Truckers During Official Announcement
Washington D.C. – On Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden officially announced he will nominate Pete Buttigieg to head the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) should he be sworn in on January 20, 2021.
The announcement came one day after Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported Mr. Biden had selected the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, IN for the important cabinet position.
“You know we selected Pete for Transportation because the Department is at the intersection of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better,” Biden commented. “Pete’s got a great perspective that solves problems and brings people together.”
During the nearly half-hour announcement and acceptance speech both men spoke about their vision for the massive 55,000-employee Department.
“At its best, transportation makes the American Dream possible, getting people and goods where it needs to be directly and indirectly creating good paying jobs,” Buttigieg stated. “At its worst, misguided policies and missed opportunities can reinforce racial, economic, and environmental injustice, dividing or isolating neighborhoods, undermining governments basic role to empower everyone to thrive.”
While both Biden and Buttigieg expressed optimism about the road ahead, neither man specifically mentioned truckers or the trucking industry.
At a time of pandemic when the trucking industry has met the extraordinary demands of the American people, Biden and Buttigieg’s omission of thanks toward the men and women of the trucking community during such an occasion is certainly notable.
Could this be a signal that a potential Biden Administration will not be focused on the concerns of professional drivers and trucking stakeholders?
It is too early to tell, but TNN has spoken to multiple key trucking insiders since the news of Buttigieg’s nomination broke on Tuesday, and so far, response has been tepid at best with some expressing dire concerns over the former mayor’s lack of transportation experience.
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However, trucking’s largest association, the American Trucking Association (ATA), quickly issued a statement of congratulations to Mayor Pete on Tuesday.
“On behalf of the trucking and freight transportation industry, I’d like to congratulate Pete Buttigieg on his nomination to lead the Department of Transportation,” President and CEO Chris Spear said. “We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working with him to begin the important work of rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure.”
TNN will continue to closely follow new developments.
WATCH the entire event below.
Mayor @PeteButtigieg is a barrier-breaking public servant with a track record of forward-thinking leadership. Tune in as I nominate him to be our next Secretary of Transportation. https://t.co/rhpetks9UW
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) December 16, 2020