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Pete Buttigieg as Biden Transportation Secretary

At 39 he had already been mayor of South Bend Indiana, and a Democratic presidential candidate in the last elections. On Tuesday he became the first openly gay man to serve on a US presidential cabinet.

Senate Confirms Pete Buttigieg as Biden Transportation Secretary

The US Senate confirmed former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation in President Joe Biden's administration on Tuesday.

The 39-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is the first openly gay man to be confirmed for a presidential cabinet position in the United States.

After voting 86 in favor and 13 against, Buttigieg said he felt "honored and humbled" and that he was "ready to get to work." His work will be key in the execution of President Biden's climate change and infrastructure plans.

As Secretary of Transportation he will control an agency with 55,000 employees and a budget of billions of dollars. Biden's plans include rebuilding roads and bridges, increasing coverage of zero-emissions urban transportation systems, and building a network of 500,000 battery-charging stations for electric cars.

Praised by Biden as someone who will bring a “new voice” to his cabinet, Buttigieg will have as one of his main challenges restoring the trust of users in the airlines, buses, subway systems and interlocal trains that have seen their users have vanished during the coronavirus pandemic.

Before being confirmed by the Senate, Buttigieg had to face Republican senators in the Commerce Committee, where the costs and scope of Biden's plans were questioned, especially regarding the redirection of infrastructure funds towards environmental projects. But they said they hope to fully discuss the details with Buttigieg.

"Transportation issues have historically been approached from a bipartisan approach, and I hope to continue that practice with Mr. Buttigieg," said Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker, the committee's highest-ranking Republican, who praised his "impressive credentials." and intellect.

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