February 2, 2021

Buttigieg Confirmed As Transportation Secretary

Article origination WVPE-FM
Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington.  - Ken Cedeno/Pool via AP

Transportation Secretary nominee Pete Buttigieg speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Washington.

Ken Cedeno/Pool via AP

Former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is now officially the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. The U.S. Senate overwhelmingly voted to confirm his nomination Tuesday. 

On Twitter, Buttigieg said he was “honored and humbled” by the Senate’s vote – and that he was “ready to get to work.” 

As transportation secretary, he will face an airline and public transportation industry reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, as well as an aging infrastructure system.

Buttigieg has said he will use his experience as mayor to take a “bottom-up” approach to the nation’s transportation challenges. 

He is expected to help implement President Biden’s climate change initiatives by strengthening fuel economy standards and working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

At 39, Buttigieg is one of the youngest Cabinet members in U.S. history and the first openly gay Cabinet secretary confirmed by the Senate. Richard Grenell, who is openly gay, served as acting National Intelligence Director Under President Donald Trump, but did not have to face Senate confirmation.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Indiana), the Indiana Democratic Party and University of Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins have all extended their congratulations to Buttigieg so far.

Contact Gemma at gdicarlo@wvpe.org or follow her on Twitter at @gemma_dicarlo.

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