Trump to name Elaine Chao Transportation secretary

Trump to name Elaine Chao Transportation secretary
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President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpGillibrand backs federal classification of third gender: report Former Carter pollster, Bannon ally Patrick Caddell dies at 68 Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN Ambassador job MORE is announcing former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao as his Transportation Secretary later Tuesday, according to multiple reports.

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Chao, who ran the Labor Department under former President George W. Bush, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDems ready aggressive response to Trump emergency order, as GOP splinters Green New Deal Resolution invites big picture governing ‘Contingency’ spending in 3B budget deal comes under fire 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 BarlettaTrump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 GOP trading fancy offices, nice views for life in minority Casey secures third Senate term over Trump-backed Barletta 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.