The U.S. Senate confirmed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation by a vote of 93-6. Secretary Chao has a long history with the aggregates industry. She served as Deputy Transportation Secretary from 1989 to 1991 under President George H.W. Bush and as Secretary of Labor with oversight of MSHA from 2001 to 2009 under President George W. Bush. She recently served on the Vulcan Materials board of directors.
“We congratulate Secretary Chao on being confirmed to lead the Transportation Department. With her experience leading both Labor and Transportation Departments in the past, she is the ideal person to lead the charge on President Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan,” said National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) President and CEO Michael W. Johnson. “We look forward to working with Secretary Chao to invest in America’s surface transportation, ports and airports, create jobs and improve our nation’s economy in the process.”
NSSGA advocated for the confirmation of Secretary Chao since her nomination. In addition to in-person meetings NSSGA staff held with congressional staff, the association reached out to members of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee prior to her confirmation hearing and to all senators ahead of today’s vote.
Brian P. McGuire, president and CEO of Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), issued the following statement following Chao’s confirmation:
“AED congratulates Elaine Chao on her confirmation to serve as President Trump’s Transportation Secretary. Unfortunately, Secretary Chao is inheriting an untenable situation – a neglected transportation infrastructure and a Highway Trust Fund that’s set for insolvency. After years of underinvestment, Secretary’s Chao’s leadership is needed more than ever to implement President Trump’s bold infrastructure vision.
“The construction equipment industry is ready to rebuild the country,” McGuire said. “Our leaders can’t sit by and watch our nation’s infrastructure continue to crumble, our international competitiveness suffer, and economic growth sputter, as the federal government continues to put off tough decisions for the next generation. I’m confident that with Secretary Chao at the helm of the Department of Transportation, we’re one step closer to a bold, innovative plan to rebuild America.”