More reactions trail Biden’s nomination of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation

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U.S. President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday introduced Mayor Pete Buttigieg as his nominee for Secretary of the Department of Transportation.

The first openly gay major presidential candidate in American history, and one of the youngest ever to win a state primary or caucus, Buttigieg was described as a barrier-breaking public servant from the industrial Midwest with a track record of trailblazing, forward-thinking executive leadership.

If confirmed, he would make history as the first openly gay person confirmed to lead a Cabinet department in the nation’s history.

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More reactions continued to trail his nomination and his introduction on Wednesday. Below is what is being said.

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MJ Lee, CNN: “[Biden] said the government he is putting together has broken more barriers than any other cabinets that have come before this one…he noted he’s doing it again today with Pete Buttigieg” [12/16/20]

Mike Memoli, NBC: “Buttigieg, as he said, would be one of the youngest secretaries since Hamilton.” [12/16/20]

Neil Cavuto, Fox Business: “At 38, he’s among the youngest cabinet picks a president has ever made…this would be an aggressive leader for the Transportation Department” [12/16/20]

Anthony Foxx, Former Transportation Secretary
“Pete Buttigieg is a home run pick by President-elect Joe Biden. I know Mayor Buttigieg well, having traveled with him overseas when I was Secretary. He’s smart, loves our country and is dedicated to building our nation back better. Beyond that, he’s an exceptional leader who will fight for the infrastructure every American deserves.” [Statement, 12/15/20] 

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb“I value the partnership I’ve had with Pete and am always pleased to see Hoosiers leading in the nation’s capital.” [Tweet via @adamwren, 12/16/20]

Speaker Nancy Pelosi
“As a Mayor, Pete Buttigieg has a profound understanding of the transportation and infrastructure challenges facing American communities. House Democrats look forward to working with the Secretary-designate as we work to Build Back Better.” [Tweet, 12/15/20]

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer
“I join in congratulating Pete Buttigieg on being selected as the next Secretary of Transportation, making him the first openly gay American to serve in the Cabinet. Repairing, upgrading, and expanding transportation infrastructure is going to be a major component of any plan to build back better from the pandemic and grow our economy in a way that creates opportunities for workers and businesses and meaningfully addresses the climate crisis. I look forward to working with Sec.-designate Buttigieg to deliver on House Democrats’ promises to make infrastructure a centerpiece of our economic recovery and our agenda to ensure that everyone in our country can Make It In America.” [Statement, 12/16/20]

Senator Gary Peters
“As a Midwest Mayor, @PeteButtigieg has a unique understanding of how to revitalize our infrastructure, create local jobs, & build strong partnerships.” [Tweet, 12/16/20]

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos
“@PeteButtigieg is a tremendous leader who is committed to serving our nation. He will make an excellent Secretary of Transportation as we work to build back better, create jobs and invest in our infrastructure.” [Tweet, 12/16/20]

Congressman Donald Norcross
“I commend the Biden-Harris administration’s appointment of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of @USDOT . As a former mayor, he knows what it will take for American cities to truly build back better. I look forward to working together in the new year!” [Tweet, 12/16/20]

ABC: Buttigieg would make history if confirmed as Biden’s transportation secretary. Biden has laid out an ambitious infrastructure plan for his administration that Buttigieg would likely have a significant role in if confirmed as transportation secretary. LGBTQ rights organizations praised Biden’s selection as a major step in ensuring the incoming administration reflects the country’s diversity. [12/16/20]

CNN: ‘A new voice with new ideas:’ Biden introduces Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary nominee. Buttigieg’s selection also represents the first time the President-elect has tapped one of his former Democratic presidential opponents to join his administration as a Cabinet secretary. The role of transportation secretary is expected to play a central part in Biden’s push for a bipartisan infrastructure package. [12/16/20]

National League of Cities“Congratulations @PeteButtigieg on your nomination to Transportation Secretary. Filling @WhiteHouse with former local elected leaders will ensure our communities’ voices are heard. @leagueofcities  is excited and ready to partner with you!” [Tweet, 12/15/20]

Rich Trumka, AFL-CIO
“During his historic campaign for the presidency, Pete Buttigieg pledged to strengthen unions, help grow our ranks and increase worker power across the board. He also advanced a robust agenda to invest in and modernize our nation’s infrastructure. With good jobs and better lives as our mission, the AFL-CIO and our affiliated unions look forward to partnering with Buttigieg as transportation secretary…We are ready to build back better with Buttigieg to revitalize the transportation systems and workers who keep America moving.” [Tweet, 12/15/20]

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
“The @USHCC proudly congratulates @PeteButtigieg on being nominated as U.S. Secretary of Transportation. We applaud efforts to appoint diverse leaders to high-level positions & look forward to working w the new administration to create prosperity for the business community. @NGLCC” [Tweet, 12/15/20]

MarketWatch: ‘Infrastructure week’ won’t be punchline in Biden administration, Buttigieg pledges “Americans expect us to see to it that the idea of an infrastructure week is associated with results, and never again a media punchline,” said the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., who also ran against Biden in the Democratic presidential primaries. [12/16/20]

NBC: Buttigieg would be the first openly gay member of a presidential Cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate. And at 38, he would be one of the youngest Cabinet secretaries in decades, and would represent a bridge to a new generation of Democratic politicians.Biden made frequent reference to both historical markers in his speech introducing Buttigieg as his nominee to lead the Transportation Department,” touting him as the latest example in his “Cabinet of firsts” and “a new voice with new ideas determined to move past old politics.” [12/16/20]

NYT: A one-time political rival of Mr. Biden’s, Mr. Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., supports restoring Obama-era vehicle emissions standards and making the United States carbon neutral by 2050, priorities that align with the climate-centric role Mr. Biden wants for his Transportation Department. The agency has the authority to regulate vehicle emissions, the leading source of climate-warming pollution in the United States.Mr. Biden appeared with Mr. Buttigieg at an event in Wilmington, Del., calling him “a policy wonk with a big heart.” [12/16/20]

American Public Transportation Association
“President-elect Biden has selected an outstanding nominee as Mayor Buttigieg brings a wealth of knowledge to DOT and will be a strong leader for the Department. As Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, he worked closely with the South Bend Public Transportation Corporation during his two terms and understands the power of public transportation in meeting the social and economic needs of communities.” [Statement, 12/16/20]

Politico: Smooth-talking Buttigieg could be Biden’s infrastructure salesman in chief. Adie Tomer, a fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, called Buttigieg’s nomination “an inspired choice” and “a massive win for the country and especially the metro areas and towns that lead it.”…Industry leaders and advocates for local autonomy cheered the nomination of a former mayor who implemented safety and sustainability efforts to reduce car dependency in a city built on automobile manufacturing and then broken by its demise. [12/16/20]

Neil Bradley, Vice President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Neil Bradley, vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said on Bloomberg Television that the choice suggests that the administration will take infrastructure very seriously. “You know, mayors have been some of the best advocates for infrastructure,” Bradley said. “Infrastructure is a long overdue priority, you know. The incoming Biden team tells us they’re going to make that a priority in the first six months of next year, and I think this is confirmation that they are indeed are going to put a lot of resources and the right personnel behind it.” [Bloomberg, 12/15/20]

Airlines for America
“We congratulate Pete Buttigieg on his nomination by President-Elect Biden for Department of Transportation Secretary. Mayor Buttigieg has been engaged with transportation for many years, and we look forward to working with DOT under his strong leadership as we resume connecting American communities, families and businesses with each other and with the rest of the world. U.S. airlines have always been critical to our nation’s economy and infrastructure. Now, as our nation looks toward the future, A4A and our member carriers stand ready to collaborate with the new administration to help speed the recovery of our industry, the nation and the world from the COVID-19 pandemic.” [Statement, 12/15/20]

National Association of Manufacturers“Manufacturers congratulate former Mayor Pete Buttigieg on his nomination to lead the Transportation Department. He hails from a manufacturing state, so he knows the critical role our industry plays in our economic recovery. And for our country to recover—to ‘build back better’ as President-elect Biden says—we absolutely need to see infrastructure investment of historic proportion. [Statement, 12/15/20]

John Bozzella, President & CEO, Auto Innovators
“We look forward to working with President-elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg. As highlighted in our just-released Innovation Agenda, as well as our AV Roadmap, we are at a pivotal moment in the auto industry’s evolution. As the technologies that will define the future of personal mobility rapidly evolve, effective collaboration and engagement among government, industry and stakeholder partners will be vital to continuing US leadership, job creation and competitiveness in the auto sector. We welcome the opportunity to work with the President-elect and the entire incoming administration to develop sound policies that allow for cleaner, safer and smarter transportation for the traveling public.” [Statement, 12/16/20]

Charlotte Clymer, Former Press Secretary, Human Rights Campaign 
“Five years after the Supreme Court made marriage equality the law of the land, we’re watching who will be the first openly-LGBTQ cabinet secretary talk about how he proposed to his husband at the O’Hare airport. I couldn’t be cynical in this moment if I tried.” [Tweet, 12/16/20

State Senator Chris Hansen
“As a fellow member of @NewDEALLeaders, I am so pleased to see that Pete Buttigieg has been selected to lead USDOT. He is exactly the kind of forward-thinking leader we need to help deploy sustainable infrastructure and accelerate American transportation into the 21st Century.” [Tweet, 12/16/20]

Linda Hidalgo, County Judge, Harris County, Texas
“So thrilled for @PeteButtigieg to take the helm at DOT. He knows the importance of local government and has a track record of delivering. In many ways, in Harris county we’ve been fighting an uphill battle on innovative transportation. We’re ready to redouble our efforts!” [Tweet, 12/15/20]

Chad Griffin, Former President, Human Rights Campaign
A profoundly historic moment. In nominating @PeteButtigieg to be Transportation Secretary, @JoeBiden is showing millions around the world that the lives and contributions of LGBTQ people should be valued and celebrated. No height is too high to pursue proudly & openly in America. [Tweet, 12/16/20]
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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