The US Senate confirmed on Tuesday (2) the appointment of Pete Buttigieg, 38, who ran for the Democratic presidential election with Joe Biden as transport secretary.
Former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Buttigieg becomes the first openly gay member of the US government. The Democrat will be responsible for the areas of aviation, roads, vehicles, pipelines and traffic.
There were 83 votes for and 13 against confirmation. His appointment had already been approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transport on January 27.
Buttigieg was also the first openly gay candidate to run for the presidential primary. In the Democratic race, he won in Iowa and took second in New Hampshire, but did not win any delegates in the next two laps and ended up dropping out of the race.
LGBTQ Victory Institute Director Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker said, “Pete has broken a century-old political barrier with overwhelming bipartisan support, which opens the way for more LGBTQ Americans to seek nominations from high level.”
He had previously been cited for various positions in Biden’s leadership – during the Democratic race, he backed the president-elect as soon as he gave up running and brought with him the support of a large moderate wing of the party.
Nicknamed “Mayor Pete,” he ruled South Bend, a city of 100,000, from 2012 to 2020. Previously, he earned a degree in history and literature from Harvard and an MA in economics, political science and philosophy from Oxford . In 2009, he became a naval intelligence officer for the navy and was sent to Afghanistan for seven months in 2014.
At the head of the Secretariat of Transport, he will have to face great challenges, since the sector has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with a sharp drop in the displacement of Americans.
After taking office on January 20, Biden offered an additional $ 20 billion (107.1 billion reais) to help the transportation system. Congress has already allocated $ 39 billion (208.9 billion reais) to an emergency fund for the region, including 14 billion US dollars (75 billion reais) last month and 65 billion dollars (348, R $ 2 billion) in government loans and bailouts to US airlines.
Biden wants to dramatically increase infrastructure spending and promises to step up reduced fuel economy standards under Donald Trump’s leadership and replace the government’s fleet of vehicles with electric vehicles, according to the climate plan announced last week.
Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell said Buttigieg understands the size of America’s infrastructure needs. According to her, the region had been underfunded by the government by 1.5 trillion US dollars (8 trillion reais) over the past decade.
The transport secretary will also face issues such as a new introduction of drones, self-driving cars and other advanced technologies, as well as efforts to bolster aviation safety in the wake of the 737 plane case. MAX from Boeing.