Biden Appointing Pete Buttigieg Transportation Secretary

Biden Appointing Pete Buttigieg Transportation Secretary

President-elect Joe Biden will select former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to lead the Department of Transportation, Reuters, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post reported. This time, however, such claims amount to whitewashing President Donald Trump's promotion of his administration's first ambassador to Germany, Ric Grenell, to serve as director of national intelligence from February to May this year - a cabinet-level position.

In a speech from Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, reflected on what the moment means for all LGBTQ Americans.

Buttigieg is filling shoes that were initially expected to be filled by former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel - who was instrumental in the distribution of stimulus funds to the transportation sector during the last financial crisis, under President Obama.

"Two decades later, I can't help but think of a 17-year-old somewhere who might be watching us right now, somebody who wonders whether and where they belong in the world or even in their own family", Buttigieg said.

"His voice as a champion for the LGBTQ community in the Cabinet room will help President-elect Biden build back our nation better, stronger and more equal than before", David said.

"Mayor Pete Buttigieg is a leader, patriot, and a problem solver", Biden tweeted.

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, joining the event virtually, praised Buttigieg's "sharp intellect and deep commitment to uniting people across party lines".

LGBTQ allies hailed Buttigieg's selection. Parker said the appointment would fulfill one of the goals her group has for the new administration.

If confirmed by the US Senate, Buttigieg would be the first LGBTQ Cabinet secretary approved by the chamber.

'I remember when President Clinton named the first ever woman to be secretary of State, I was there when President Obama named the first-ever black attorney general, ' Biden recalled, referring to Madeleine Albright and Eric Holder, respectively.

At the Transportation Department, Buttigieg may be charged with overseeing much of Biden's plan to dramatically boost infrastructure spending, including building 550,000 electric-vehicle charging stations and boosting spending on high-speed rail and other green projects, and persuading Congress to find a way to pay for new spending. It's a role Biden sees as central to his Build Back Better agenda. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) applauded Biden for tapping someone with "plenty of intellect, vision, and drive" to take a shot at modernizing America's crumbling transportation infrastructure.

He also was criticised over the shooting death of a Black man by a white police officer in South Bend, as well as questions over diversity on the city's police force.

Buttigieg was easily reelected as mayor in 2015, winning with more than 80 percent of the vote.

The 38-year-old former presidential rival made history as a trailblazing candidate in the Democratic primary early this year, becoming the first major openly gay candidate to claim delegates in the major party contest. His momentum was blunted with Biden's overwhelming victory in the South Carolina Democratic Primary later that month, though, as his electoral weakness with Black voters, a crucial part of the Democratic coalition, proved incredibly hard to improve on in just a matter of weeks. "We are transforming South Bend's streets to meet the needs of pedestrians and cyclists as well as drivers", Buttigieg said in a statement at the time.

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