Buttigieg Confirmed as Transportation Secretary in Historic Senate Vote
Washington D.C. – Pete Buttigieg is trading in his nickname of “Mayor Pete” for “Secretary Pete” after the United States Senate confirmed him today to serve as Secretary of Transportation.
The 39-year-old former mayor of South Bend, IN was approved to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) in a historic Senate vote of 86-13.
The thirteen “NO” votes were the most cast against a secretary of transportation nominee in American history.
Senators voting “NO” were: Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), and James Lankford (R-OK).
Shortly following the vote, Buttigieg took to social media to express his appreciation to the Senate.
I’m honored and humbled by today’s vote in the Senate—and ready to get to work @USDOT.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) February 2, 2021
Secretary Pete is now only the second openly gay person to hold a cabinet-level position.
Ric Grennell was the first and served as Acting Director of National Intelligence in the Trump Administration.
Buttigieg, whose qualifications for such a high ranking position have been fiercely debated within the trucking community, is a graduate of Harvard College and Oxford University and formerly served in the Navy as an intelligence officer before becoming the 32nd mayor of South Bend in 2012.
It was a position he held until January 2020.
Before running for mayor, he worked for consulting firm McKinsey from 2007 to 2010 and worked on multiple political campaigns for Democrats.
While the overwhelming majority of feedback from truckers has been in opposition to Secretary Pete, mostly because of his lack of transportation experience; a number of major industry groups such as the American Trucking Associations, Truckload Carriers Association, Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association and the National Association of Truckstop Operators have each expressed support for Buttigieg’s nomination.
Trucking stakeholders are hoping to find common ground with Secretary Pete particularly as it relates to infrastructure investment, which Buttigieg has expressed will be a high priority for the Department under his leadership.
However, many small to mid-sized trucking companies are bracing for an expected flood of new environmental regulations the Biden Administration has promised to enact to combat climate change.
“The President has made it very clear he expects all of us to deliver on a new climate vision,” Mr. Buttigieg declared in his confirmation hearing before the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. “Ultimately, we cannot afford not to act on climate.”
As part of this new focus on climate policy, Buttigieg has stated the USDOT will work to incentivize consumer adoption of electric vehicles (EV), build 500,000 EV charging stations, and “modernize” vehicle fuel efficiency standards.
Moreover, Buttigieg has also indicated he is eyeing new regulations to crackdown on carbon emissions producers noting, “The transportation sector is now the biggest contributor of greenhouse gases.”
Time will tell just where the road will lead, but TransportationNation.com will be here to track it all for you.
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