Pete Buttigieg is testifying now before a Senate panel on considering his nomination for transportation secretary, putting the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor on the path to becoming the first Senate-confirmed LGBTQ Cabinet secretary.
"We need to build our economy back, better than ever," Buttigieg said in his opening remarks. ""The Department of Transportation can play a central role in this, by implementing President Biden's infrastructure vision creating millions of good-paying jobs, revitalizing communities that have been left behind, enabling American small businesses, workers, families and farmers to compete and win in the global economy, and tackling the climate crisis."
The nominee vowed to "work every day for the department to meets its mission of ensuring safety."
Some background: Buttigieg often spoke about infrastructure on the campaign trail from the perspective of a small-town mayor, arguing that local governments like the one he once ran needed people in Washington who understood their needs and issues.
Buttigieg is expected to play a central role in President Biden's push for a bipartisan infrastructure package.
Some top Democrats believed that Biden wanted to get Buttigieg, 39, a top post as a way to elevate a rising star in the Democratic Party. Buttigieg's future aspirations are no secret, but the former mayor's political future in his conservative home state has long been a roadblock.