A Senate panel on January 27 simply superior President Joe Biden’s nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be transportation secretary, organising a ultimate affirmation vote for a key function in Biden’s push to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure and confront local weather change.
The Senate Commerce Committee authorised the nomination of Buttigieg, the 39-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, on a 21-3 vote.
Should the total Senate vote in favor of Buttigieg’s nomination, he could be the primary overtly homosexual particular person, and one of many youngest, to be confirmed for a cupboard submit.
Biden has been urging the Senate, the place Democrats maintain a slim majority, to maneuver rapidly on his Cabinet picks, given the present COVID-19 disaster. The president has additionally pledged an formidable agenda of job development, preventing local weather change, and selling racial fairness.
Senator Maria Cantwell, the panel’s incoming Democratic chair, praised Buttigieg’s credentials earlier than the vote Wednesday and urged fast affirmation so he can get to work on COVID-19 security in transportation. “He understands what all of us have to deal with on transportation and infrastructure,” Cantwell mentioned.
With the transportation sector, and notably automobile emissions, being a prime contributor to international warming in the United States, Buttigieg, whom Biden praised as bringing “a new voice,” is predicted to play an necessary function in the local weather agenda. Advocates hope his public stature and constant following from 2020 marketing campaign will assist win over lawmakers and push by broad infrastructure modifications lengthy unachievable on Capitol Hill.
Buttigieg, in a tweet, thanked the members of the Commerce Committee for “their vote of confidence in me.” He mentioned he seemed ahead to teaming up with members of the committee “as we get to work on infrastructure and constructing our economic system again higher.’’
At his affirmation listening to, Buttigieg obtained bipartisan reward as he pledged a direct deal with transportation security whereas pointing to a “generational’’ alternative to assist remake how folks journey.
As examples, he pledged to assist put in place new federal automotive gas economic system requirements to scale back greenhouse-gas emissions, promote faster growth of self-driving automobiles, and push using electrical automobiles by including a half-million charging stations nationwide.
Republican senators throughout his listening to signaled future battles forward over the associated fee and scope of updating the nation’s roads and bridges, rails, and airports—a broad purpose that eluded former President Donald Trump over the past 4 years. Senators additionally mentioned they seemed ahead to many discussions with Buttigieg.
Biden has mentioned he’ll unveil the total particulars of his infrastructure plan subsequent month.
This article seems in the February 2021 version of OutSmart journal.