WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden on Dec. 15 formally announced Pete Buttigieg as his pick for the secretary of transportation. Buttigieg, 38, served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, from 2012 to 2020.
Buttigieg, who would be the first openly gay person confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet post, was virtually unknown nationally when he launched a longshot bid for president, but he became a formidable political force in the early primary states, finishing well ahead of Biden in Iowa and New Hampshire. Buttigieg eventually endorsed Biden’s presidential bid.
In a statement, Biden’s transition team praised Buttigieg as “a barrier-breaking public servant from the industrial Midwest with a track record of trailblazing, forward-thinking executive leadership.”
Biden plans to formally introduce Buttigieg during a Delaware event today (Dec. 16) with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Biden’s choice for transportation secretary has the support of the Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, who noted that Buttigieg was directly involved with transportation planning at a local level while serving as mayor of South Bend.
“As a presidential candidate, Pete’s infrastructure proposal for the country not only focused on fixing our existing roads and bridges, but also investing in the national passenger rail network, boosting public transportation and investing in rural communities, all while putting an emphasis on 21st-century needs such as broadband internet and electric vehicle infrastructure,” DeFazio said.
The Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) offered a statement of support for Buttigieg’s appointment.
“TCA is pleased to learn that President-elect Biden intends to nominate Pete Buttigieg to be secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation,” said David Heller, vice president of government affairs for TCA. “Mr. Buttigieg will bring a unique perspective and ambitious ideas into this role, and we look forward to working with him and the rest of the Biden Administration to move the needle on infrastructure and other issues of importance to truckload carriers.”
The heads of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also noted that serving as mayor of South Bend provided Buttigieg with valuable insights in the areas of infrastructure and transportation.
“On behalf of the trucking and freight transportation industry, I’d like to congratulate Pete Buttigieg on his nomination to lead the Department of Transportation. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working with him to begin the important work of rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure,” said Chris Spear, president and CEO of ATA.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) also congratulated Buttigieg on his nomination for the top spot in the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“We look forward to working with him and the administration of President-elect Joe Biden to deliver an integrated, efficient, and innovative national transportation system,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s executive director.
Biden’s selection of Buttigieg for transportation secretary drew praise from LGBTQ rights groups, with one calling it “a new milestone in a decades-long effort” to have LGBTQ representation in the U.S. government.
The South Bend, Indiana, chapter of Black Lives Matter (BLM), however, denounced Buttigieg’s pending nomination. The group had made its displeasure of Buttigieg known during his presidential campaign, following the 2019 South Bend shooting of a Black man by a white police officer.
“We saw Black communities have their houses torn down by his administration,” BLM’s South Bend leader Jorden Giger said in a statement, referring to Buttigieg’s effort to tear down substandard housing. “We saw the machinery of his police turned against Black people.”
If confirmed as transportation secretary, Buttigieg will be charged with implementing Biden’s proposals to spend billions making major infrastructure improvements and on retrofitting initiatives to help the U.S. battle climate change. He also wants to immediately mandate mask-wearing on airplanes and public transportation systems to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“The bottom line is, with a forward-looking leader at DOT, our nation has an incredible opportunity to create jobs, support U.S. manufacturing, reduce carbon pollution from the transportation sector, and create safer, more efficient infrastructure by investing in transportation,” DeFazio said. “I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg on our common goal of delivering results for all Americans in communities of all sizes.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.
“ who noted that Buttigieg was directly involved with transportation planning at a local level while serving as mayor of South Bend.”
So this Peter puffer sat around a table a made plans for screwing up the traffic in South Bend? Good Grief! If the Voter in Thief actually does get into office America is done!
Wonderful. The next contestant on the demented dementia Show and Tell menu is a genuine “Over the Tank Frank”! A pickel park Peter with a fetish for tapping his brake lights now makes him an expert on transportation issues.
The proclivity of this 25th Amendment candidate is to make his cabinet choices into a Star Wars bar scene. This is why the American public voted for President Trump and the backroom hand picked cheaters foisted this bumbling, mumbling, travesty upon us. We had enough of the 8 years of Obama’s failures. Why would we want his side kick to destroy the economy and America again. Wide spread fraud does not make America great. It turns us into third world fools.
the whole cabnet is a freak show
Limp wristed A$$oe gonna cut your hours