Biden to Nominate Buttigieg for Transportation Secretary
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate former Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg to be the U.S. DOT Secretary, according to various news sources, including POLITICO.
As a presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg unveiled an aggressive $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The plan called for doubling U.S. DOT’s BUILD grant program, which funds a wide variety of infrastructure projects, to $2 billion a year. The plan proposed to revitalize the shrinking Highway Trust Fund by “injecting” $165 billion in federal moneys to keep it afloat through 2029, while requiring U.S. DOT to propose a new user fee system such as a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) fee to replace the gas tax. To address two major criticisms of a VMT, the plan proposed to institute “appropriate privacy protections” and giving discounted rates to low-income drivers. It remains to be seen what elements of this plan the Biden Administration would ultimately put forward.
If confirmed, the 38-year-old former mayor of South Bend, IN, would be responsible for nearly 55,000 employees, an $87 billion budget, and more than a dozen agencies. In the role, he would oversee the highway system, the nation’s airspace, and other infrastructure.
Photo: Pete Buttigieg speaking during an appearance as mayor in 2019. (Source: Gage Skidmore, Phoenix, AZ, WikiCommons)
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