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Senate confirms Buttigieg as Transportation secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Buttigieg: Bipartisan deal on infrastructure 'strongly preferred' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden ends infrastructure talks with key Republican | Colonial Pipeline CEO grilled over ransomware attack | Texas gov signs bills to improve power grid after winter storm MORE to lead the Transportation Department.

The Senate voted 86-13 to approve Buttigieg’s nomination. He is the 19th Transportation secretary and the fifth member of President Biden's Cabinet to be confirmed by the Senate. He is also the first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet member in U.S. history.    

He is the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., and a Navy veteran. He ran against Biden in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary before dropping out of the race and throwing his support to the now-president.

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Senators who voted against Buttigieg’s nomination were Republicans Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonSenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry Jon Stewart shows late-night conformity cabal how political comedy is done The Hill's Morning Report - After high-stakes Biden-Putin summit, what now? MORE (Ark.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry DeSantis tops Trump in 2024 presidential straw poll White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE (Texas), Bill CassidyBill CassidyPortman: Republicans are 'absolutely' committed to bipartisan infrastructure bill Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting Centrists gain leverage over progressives in Senate infrastructure battle MORE (La.), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallKansas' Democratic governor set for bruising reelection fight Republicans grill Biden public lands agency pick over finances, advocacy Senate passes resolution urging probe into COVID-19 origins MORE (Kan.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyOn The Money: Sanders: Democrats considering trillion spending package | Weekly jobless claims rise for first time since April Shelby signals GOP can accept Biden's .5T with more for defense Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior MORE (Ala.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyHarris casts tiebreaking vote to confirm OPM nominee Senate Republicans: Newly proposed ATF rules could pave way for national gun registry Eliminate family and child poverty: Richard Nixon may help in today's debate MORE (Mo.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP senator introduces constitutional amendment to ban flag burning Fauci on Blackburn video: 'No idea what she is talking about' Pentagon report clears use of drones made by top Chinese manufacturer MORE (Tenn.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal Rising violent crime poses new challenge for White House MORE (Fla.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottWhite House says Biden crime address won't undercut police reform bill Sen. Manchin paves way for a telehealth revolution Kerry Washington backs For the People Act: 'Black and Brown voters are being specifically targeted' MORE (S.C.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordTime for Biden to issue executive order on antisemitism Senate dives into DC statehood debate in second hearing GOP senator on DC statehood: 'No one is compelled to actually' live there MORE (Okla.).

The Senate already confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril HainesAvril HainesFBI warns lawmakers of violence from QAnon conspiracy theorists Concerns grow over China's Taiwan plans Lawrence Livermore report finds Wuhan lab leak theory plausible MORE, Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinPentagon chief backs change to military sexual assault prosecution Overnight Defense: Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system | Senate panel plans July briefing on war authorization repeal | National Guard may have 'training issues' if not reimbursed Joint Chiefs warn against sweeping reform to military justice system MORE, Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenAs climate threats escalate, ESG needs an 'R' for resilience On The Money: Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall | Schumer, Pelosi meeting with White House on infrastructure Powell says pickup in job gains likely this fall MORE and Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenPutin accuses US of organizing 2014 Ukraine coup China has declared information warfare against America — Biden must respond vigorously Envoy says US in talks to remove foreign forces in Libya ahead of elections MORE.

The Senate Commerce Committee advanced Buttigieg’s nomination last week through a broad bipartisan vote, with only three Republican senators voting against it.

He is set to take over an agency overseeing an industry devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. Biden has also emphasized the need for a bold infrastructure package, which Buttigieg has highlighted.

The former mayor defended Biden’s executive order to revoke a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline when questioned earlier this month. He also walked back comments that left the door open to raising the gas tax to fund the Highway Trust Fund; a spokesperson said after the hearing that increasing the gas tax is not an option.

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Transportation industry trade groups like the Airport Council and the Air Line Pilots Association applauded his confirmation on Tuesday and unions, including the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and AFSCME, also welcomed him into his new role.

Buttigieg has quipped that he would be the second-biggest Amtrak enthusiast in the administration. Biden is an outspoken advocate for Amtrak and would regularly commute between Delaware on Washington, D.C., by train when he was a senator. 

When Biden formally introduced Buttigieg as his nominee for Transportation secretary in December, he called him “one of the smartest people you will ever meet.” 

Buttigieg is set to be the only millennial to serve in Biden's Cabinet.

The Human Rights Campaign applauded Buttigieg’s historic nomination as the first openly LGBTQ Senate-confirmed Cabinet secretary.

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“Let this important moment for our movement serve as a reminder to every LGBTQ young person: you too can serve your country in any capacity you earn the qualifications to hold,” President Alphonso David said in a statement.

The LGBTQ Victory Institute also noted in a statement that Buttigieg shattered a political barrier on Tuesday.

“Pete shattered a centuries-old political barrier with overwhelming bipartisan support and that paves the way for more LGBTQ Americans to pursue high-profile appointments,” said CEO Annise Parker.

“Pete testifying at his confirmation hearing, with his husband looking on, will be among the powerful images that define this unprecedented political moment and will be remembered as a milestone in America’s move toward social justice,” she said.

Buttigieg spoke in December about the history-making move as the first openly gay Senate-confirmed Cabinet member. Rick Grenell, who served as the acting director of national intelligence from February to May under President TrumpDonald TrumpGuardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa wins GOP primary in NYC mayor's race Garland dismisses broad review of politicization of DOJ under Trump Schumer vows next steps after 'ridiculous,' 'awful' GOP election bill filibuster MORE, was the first openly LGBTQ Cabinet secretary but was not confirmed by the Senate. 

Buttigieg recalled watching the confirmation hearing of James Hormel, the first openly gay man to represent the U.S. as an ambassador, under President Clinton. Senate Republicans at the time worked to block Hormel’s nomination, but he was appointed to be U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg through a recess appointment.

Updated at 1:32 p.m.