Dec. 21, 2016 – According to Politico, if the Senate confirms her as transportation secretary, Elaine Chao will focus on ensuring that the DOT effectively enforces safety regulations, streamlining the processes for infrastructure projects and fairly treating both rural and urban areas of the country. Chao outlined the issues she wants to tackle as the head of the DOT for a questionnaire from the Senate Commerce Committee, which made her responses public Tuesday. The committee will be responsible for deciding whether Chao's nomination moves to the Senate floor.
In addressing infrastructure needs, Chao said she wants to reduce "regulatory burdens when appropriate." And she hopes to speed up project approvals regardless of whether infrastructure programs get a funding boost. "With or without a new infusion of funds, it is necessary to look at the existing processes for infrastructure development and find more efficient ways to address bottlenecks in planning and permitting," Chao said. That response indicates Chao isn't assuming Congress will pass a large infrastructure spending package.
The committee asks nominees to list potential conflicts of interest and political contributions. In an attachment about conflicts of interest, an item disclosed that Chao "is entitled to discounted airfare on Delta Airlines as a result of her service on the board of Northwest Airlines." And her list of contributions showed that Chao never donated to Donald Trump's campaign.