Former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg today was easily confirmed as President Joseph R. Biden’s Secretary of Transportation.
Buttigieg’s nomination was approved by the full Senate by a vote of 86-13. At the age of 39 Buttigieg is the youngest member of Biden’s Cabinet and takes over a massive agency that has jurisdiction over trucking, federal highways, pipelines, motor coaches, air traffic, and railroads. The DOT employs some 55,000 people, including those in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
DOT is expected to be part of the Biden Administration’s efforts on climate change.
Trucking industry organizations heartily supported Buttigieg’s nomination.
In his appearance before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, Jan. 21 Buttigieg fielded questions on several trucking-related topics and said the department would look into them, giving no real specific answers. These included:
- hours of service changes
- electronic logging device waivers for livestock haulers
- meal and rest breaks for drivers
He also fielded questions about how to fund a massive infrastructure Biden has proposed as part of an economic stimulus package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.