Panel to vote on Trump’s Transportation nominee Tuesday

Panel to vote on Trump’s Transportation nominee Tuesday
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President Trump’s pick to the lead Transportation Department will be considered by a Senate panel on Tuesday.

The Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee announced over the weekend that it will vote on Elaine Chao’s nomination during a previously scheduled panel markup.

Senators will also consider Wilbur Ross, Trump’s Commerce secretary nominee, during the same meeting.

Senators had initially hoped to forgo a committee vote on Chao and instead bring her nomination directly to the Senate floor, as Chao is considered a noncontroversial pick. But her nomination appears to have gotten caught in the crosshairs of a broader Democratic fight over Trump’s Cabinet nominees.

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Chao, an experienced official who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellDavid Axelrod after Ginsburg cancer treatment: Supreme Court vacancy could 'tear this country apart' Pelosi asks Democrats for 'leverage' on impeachment Democrats press FBI, DHS on response to white supremacist violence MORE (R-Ky.), is expected to sail through the confirmation process.

She ran the Department of Labor under President George W. Bush and served as deputy Transportation secretary in the George H.W. Bush administration. Chao was also Federal Maritime Commission chairwoman and deputy Maritime administrator.

During her confirmation hearing, she received praise from both Republicans and Democrats. Chao will be a crucial ally in helping Trump move a massive infrastructure bill through Congress.

“I have watched you as you have comported yourself in a previous administration as a Cabinet member, and it has been with grace and excellence that you have done so,” said Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonAl Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Democrats target Florida Hispanics in 2020 Poll: Six Democrats lead Trump in Florida match-ups MORE of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Transportation Committee. “I certainly look forward to you in this new administration doing the same.”