SPONSORED:

Senate confirms Buttigieg as Transportation secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by ExxonMobil - Increased security on Capitol Hill amid QAnon's March 4 date Biden to meet with bipartisan lawmakers on infrastructure The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Senators who voted against Buttigieg’s nomination were Republicans Tom CottonTom Bryant CottonRepublicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Lawmakers face Capitol threat as senators line up votes for relief bill Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks MORE (Ark.), Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCrenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Hill's 12:30 Report: Washington on high alert as QAnon theory marks March 4 MORE (Texas), Bill CassidyBill CassidyTrump was unhinged and unchanged at CPAC Republicans, please save your party Senate panel splits along party lines on Becerra MORE (La.), Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallPat Roberts joins lobbying firm weeks after Senate retirement Biden health nominee faces first Senate test Senate committee plans grid reliability hearing after Texas outages MORE (Kan.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbyCBC 'unequivocally' endorses Shalanda Young for White House budget chief Black Caucus members lobby Biden to tap Shalanda Young for OMB head On The Money: Senate panels postpone Tanden meetings in negative sign | Biden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers MORE (Ala.), Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyCrenshaw pours cold water on 2024 White House bid: 'Something will emerge' Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks The Memo: Is Trump mounting a comeback — or finally fading? MORE (Mo.), Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnRepublicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal White House defends Biden's 'Neanderthal thinking' remark on masks Marsha Blackburn: Biden needs to 'rethink' comments about 'resilient' and 'resourceful' Neanderthals MORE (Tenn.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China DeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk MORE (Fla.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottSole GOP vote on House police reform bill says he 'accidentally pressed the wrong voting button' House approves George Floyd Justice in Policing Act House sets vote for George Floyd police reform bill MORE (S.C.), Bill Hagerty (Tenn.), and James LankfordJames Paul LankfordRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Senate coronavirus bill delayed until Thursday GOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra MORE (Okla.).

The Senate already confirmed Director of National Intelligence Avril HainesAvril HainesThe intelligence community must evolve with the information age Duckworth calls for Russian bounties intelligence to be declassified Intelligence official says Khashoggi report 'obviously' will challenge Saudi relationship MORE, Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Biden called off second military target in Syria minutes before strike: report Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal MORE, Treasury Secretary Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenDebt to break WWII record by 2031 Inflation debate heats up over Biden relief bill Biden cautious in making Trump tax returns decision MORE and Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenSenators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Overnight Health Care: Experts warn US risks delaying 'normal' summer | Alabama GOP governor extends mask mandate | Senate votes to take up relief bill Republicans demand arms embargo on Iran after militia strikes in Iraq 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' 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.