WASHINGTON – The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, the first openly gay person to be confirmed for a cabinet position in promoting President Joe Biden’s ambitious agenda to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure Combat climate change

Buttigieg, a 39-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and Biden’s one-time rival in the Democratic presidential primaries, was accepted by 86-13 votes

Praised by Biden as the “new voice” for the administration, Buttigieg takes over a transport department at 55000 employees and a budget of tens of billion dollars. He is committed to getting to work quickly to promote safety and restore consumer confidence in American transportation networks, including airlines, buses, subway systems and Amtrak -Rolls from the falling number of drivers in the coronavirus pandemic

He is expected to play an important role in fueling Biden’s broad environmental initiatives and helping to monitor stricter standards on automotive fuel economy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the president’s push for a climate and infrastructure plan $ 2 trillion in support later this year This plan is focused on rebuilding roads and bridges and expanding zero-emission urban transport while improving electric vehicle infrastructure, including building 500000 charging stations in the next ten years

Before being approved by the entire Senate, Buttigieg had cleared the Senate Commerce Committee by 21-3 votes.Some Republican Senators signaled during its hearing that there was likely to be a dispute over the cost and extent of modernizing the roads and bridges, and rails Airports in the country, specifically questioning the government’s interest in diverting money to climate change initiatives, but they said they would look forward to further discussions with Buttigieg, including about their desired local projects

“Traffic problems have been addressed non-partisanly in the past and I assume that I will share this practice with Dr Buttigieg, “said Mississippi Sen Roger Wicker, the top Republican on the jury, praised his “impressive credentials” and his intellect

Biden has not indicated how he will pay for an infrastructure plan, in addition to the administration’s proposed $ 19 trillion virus relief plan that has faced headwinds in Buttigieg’s proposal during its hearing that the gas tax should be increased Might be required was immediately returned by its spokesman

“We need to rebuild our economy better than ever and the Ministry of Transport can play a central role in this,” said Buttigieg in his confirmation hearing last week, noting that the transport sector, especially car emissions, is the most important largest single contribution in the US. on global warming

He stressed that job creation, tackling the climate crisis, and eradicating racial and economic inequality will influence funding decisions in the department

The war veteran from Afghanistan stepped onto the national scene in 2019 after making a lengthy presidential bid, introducing himself to voters as “Mayor Pete” and drawing initial skepticism due to his youth and limited government experience. He exceeded expectations, after focusing on a generational message and ending the first Iowa gatherings in a virtual duel with Vermont Sen, Bernie Sanders

But Buttigieg struggled to appeal to black voters and was eliminated from the race after suffering a devastating loss to Biden in the South Carolina primary, Buttigieg chose to be quick to back and help Biden to cement centrist support against Sander’s strong liberal challenge

Buttigieg, a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar, now points to his experience as a mayor and on the campaign as valuable to his ground-level approach to improving transportation. He described initiating a “Smart Street” program around the city center Make South Bend more pedestrian and cyclist friendly while making hundreds of millions of dollars in economic investment

He is also expected to be a regular on television and help sell the president’s politics, as he did during Biden’s campaign. To see “Morning Joe” from MSNBC, as well as local Fox affiliates, addressing Donald Trump’s impeachment issues and treating veterans to achieve his goals of promoting green-friendly travel

Buttigieg Brings Diversity into Cabinet There Has Never Been an Openly Gay Cabinet Secretary Under President Donald Trump, Richard Grenell served as acting director of the national intelligence service and is openly gay but didn’t face Senate endorsement as acting director in the late 1990s Years ago Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott blocked a confirmatory vote on the election of President Bill Clinton as Ambassador to Luxembourg, James Hormel, because of his sexual orientation Clinton finally installed Hormel with a break date

“Congratulations to Secretary Pete Buttigieg on his historic confirmation,” said Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group, following the vote. “This confirmation breaks an overly long-standing barrier of LGBTQ identity served as an obstacle to nomination or confirmation at the highest level of government ”

Pete Buttigieg

World News – USA – Senate confirms Pete Buttigieg as transport secretary

Source: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-confirms-pete-buttigieg-transportation-secretary-n1256506