Biden to name Pete Buttigieg to serve as transportation secretary

Dec. 15, 2020

If confirmed, Buttigieg will play a key role in the administration's infrastructure plans

President-elect Joe Biden will nominate Pete Buttigieg—the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana and former Democratic presidential candidate—as the next Secretary of Transportation, according to several news outlets.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mayor Buttigieg would succeed current Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, who was selected for the position by President Trump in 2016.

During his presidential campaign, Buttigieg released a $1 trillion infrastructure plan, which included a goal of creating six million infrastructure-related jobs and updating and fixing the majority of roads and bridges in poor condition by 2030. Among the transportation-specific points of the plan, the Buttigieg campaign proposed doubling the BUILD program and creating a Local Leaders Office at the U.S. DOT to help local communities more easily access federal funds and expertise. The plan also talked about creating a new $3 billion grant program for transportation projects of national significance "to facilitate collaboration across states and regions."

Additionally, on the presidential campaign trail, both Biden and Buttigieg participated in the "Moving America Forward" infrastructure forum, which was hosted by several transportation infrastructure associations including the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). During the forum, Buttigieg proposed considering a vehicle miles traveled user fee in lieu of raising the federal gas tax. “We are going to have to graduate from the gas tax because we are going to have to graduate from gas," Buttigieg said at the event.

Recently, the Biden-Harris transition team announced the incoming administration will include infrastructure as one of four areas of focus to address the needs of the nation's economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If confirmed as the transportation secretary, Buttigieg will play a key role in the Biden administration's push for a potential bipartisan infrastructure package.

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SOURCE: CNN / New York Times / The Hill

IMAGE: Gage Skidmore via Flickr