Trump to name Elaine Chao Transportation secretary

Trump to name Elaine Chao Transportation secretary
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE is announcing former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as his Transportation Secretary later Tuesday, according to multiple reports.


Chao, who ran the Labor Department under former President George W. Bush, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHouse to act on debt ceiling next week White House warns GOP of serious consequences on debt ceiling Lindsey Graham: Police need 'to take a firm line' with Sept. 18 rally attendees MORE (R-Ky.).

She was also a member of Trump’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Council during his presidential campaign.

Chao met Trump at Trump Tower in New York City last week to discuss labor and transportation policy, according to Politico.

A formal announcement about Chao is expected at 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.

Trump transition team spokesman Jason Miller told Fox Business Network earlier Tuesday that the president-elect will make an announcement about his pick for the next Transportation Secretary on early Tuesday afternoon. 

"We're excited with how the administration is coming together and we think this is gonna be a great day," Miller said. "And don't forget we also have another cabinet selection coming early afternoon today as the pres-elect continues to move forward." 

When pressed on which cabinet position will be announced in the afternoon, Miller simply replied, "Transportation."

A transition official described Chao to the New York Times as a “dark-horse candidate” on Monday night.

Other names that were thought to be under consideration for the position included Rep. Lou BarlettaLouis (Lou) James BarlettaFormer US attorney enters race for governor in Pennsylvania The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden wants Congress to pass abortion bill, pushes for Mideast cease-fire Ex-GOP Rep. Lou Barletta launches bid for Pennsylvania governor MORE (R-Pa.), an early Trump supporter; and Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), who lost reelection earlier this month.

Barletta, a member of the House Transportation Committee, is expected to meet with Trump on Tuesday.

Mica told reporters earlier this month that he spoke with Trump confidantes about joining the administration.

Trump has long discussed the need to repair the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, which would become a key focus for his Transportation secretary.

He has floated a $1 trillion package that would offer tax credits to private investors who want to back transportation projects.

Trump says such a policy would spur investment, create jobs and boost the economy.

The president-elect said last week, though, that infrastructure will not be a “core” part of his agenda during the early years of his administration.

- Nikita Vladimirov contributed.

- Updated at 11:22 a.m.