Pete Buttigieg at the Senate confirmation hearing with his husband Chasten behind himPhoto: Screenshot/ABC News
Pete Buttigieg’s nomination to be President Joe Biden’s Transportation Secretary has moved one step closer. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved his nomination by a 21-3 vote and sent it on to the full Senate.
The Senate is expected to confirm Buttigieg by the end of the week.
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“Thank you to the members of the @SenateCommerce Committee for their vote of confidence in me today,” Buttigieg tweeted after the vote. “I look forward to working with @SenatorWicker, @SenatorCantwell and the rest of the committee as we get to work on infrastructure and building our economy back better.”
In a heartfelt moment during his opening statement to the committee, Buttigieg thanked his husband Chasten Buttigieg – who was sitting right behind him, wearing a mask – for his support in the process.
“I’d like to take a moment to introduce my husband Chasten Buttigieg, who is here with me today,” he said. “I’m really proud to have him by my side. I also want to take this chance to thank him for his many sacrifices and his support in making it possible for me to pursue public service.”
Still, his job as transportation secretary won’t be an easy one. As the nation has limped through the coronavirus pandemic under President Trump, Buttigieg will be responsible for planning a way to rebuild America’s infrastructure – from rebuilding deteriorating highway, rail, and air systems to salvaging urban transit agencies like New York City and Washington D.C.’s subway systems.
While President Donald Trump appointed Richard Grenell as acting Director of National Intelligence, a Cabinet-level position, Grenell wasn’t confirmed by the Senate and only served as a seat warmer for the incoming DNI.
The president’s Cabinet is made up of the heads of all the executive branch departments plus the Vice President. Other high-level government officials like CIA director, White House Chief of Staff, and the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, are considered Cabinet-level.