WASHINGTON – Elaine Chao easily won Senate confirmation to become the nation’s 18th transportation secretary, a vote that was applauded by the United Motorcoach Association.
UMA President and CEO Victor Parra said the association stands ready to work with Chao to advance safety and improvements in America’s infrastructure.
“The safety of our passengers and the nation’s traveling public is always our highest priority,” Parra said. “In her confirmation testimony, Secretary Chao emphasized the role of the private sector. Private-sector bus companies are ready and willing to play an important role.”
Chao, who directs the federal agencies that oversee bus and trucking regulation, highway safety and aviation, said her priorities would be to help advance a long-term funding proposal for infrastructure projects and to craft policies designed for emerging automation technologies.
Ninety-three senators backed her nomination, six voted against her and one voted “present.” John Thune, R-S.D., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, strongly endorsed Chao for the job.
“Chao has the experience, ability, and now the bipartisan backing of the Senate to address our nation’s transportation and infrastructure challenges,” Thune said. “Her unwavering commitment to public service will be an asset to the Department of Transportation and the new administration.”
Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was President George W. Bush’s secretary of labor.