The United States Senate on Tuesday supported the appointment of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation, which makes him the openly gay first person in occupying a position in the cabinet of Government of EE.
Buttigieg’s confirmation came from a broad majority of 86 votes in favor and 13 against.
The appointment of the young politician, 39, had already been endorsed last week in the Senate Commerce Committee by 21 votes to 3 against.
The former mayor of South Bend (Indiana), who was one of the candidates for the Democratic presidential candidacy in last year’s elections, had been nominated by the then president-elect, Joe Biden, last December 16.
On that occasion, upon being formally introduced by Biden in Wilmington (Delaware) as his chosen one to fill the Transportation portfolio, the young politician He claimed his homosexuality and the fact that he was able to express it openly.
Buttigieg recalled when he was 17 years old and saw how the country’s Senate refused to hold a hearing for James Hormel, the one chosen by the then president Bill Clinton to be the US ambassador to Luxembourg, for being gay.
Despite the obstacles, Clinton finally appointed Hormel when the Senate was in recess, although he never received the approval of the Upper House, but that situation marked Buttigieg.
“I learned something about some of the limits in this country on who is allowed to belong, but just as importantly, I saw how those limits could be challenged. Two decades later, I can’t help but think of someone 17 years old. somewhere that might be watching us now, “he said then.
At just 39 years old (he turned 19 on January 19, the day before Biden’s term began), Buttigieg has also become the head of a portfolio of the youngest government cabinet in the history of the United States.
At the Department of Transportation, Buttigieg faces the challenge of rebuilding the country’s deteriorating public infrastructure, after the two previous administrations, those of Donald Trump (2017-2021) and Barack Obama (2009-2017), failed his ambitious investment projects in this sector.
The environment and the fight against the climate crisis will also be the object of his attention at the head of the Ministry of Transport, promoting the electric vehicle market.
Introducing Buttigieg, Biden advanced what he wants to do “a second great railroad revolution” but, above all, build “communities more resilient to the climate to face more extreme floods, droughts and major storms.”
Despite having been a rival to Biden in the Democratic primaries, Buttigieg withdrew from the process and announced that he supported him just before the decisive Super Tuesday of March 3, 2020, a decisive victory for the former vice president, who ultimately managed to agglutinate the support of moderate voters and emerged as the party’s consensus candidate.
The primaries, however, catapulted the former South Bend mayor to fame, who went from being unknown to most Americans to being the favorite in the party’s moderate bench, after narrowly winning the “caucuses. “from Iowa, the first state to vote in the Democratic primary.
Likewise, Buttigieg was profiled as a model millennial that mixed his message of hope with deeply Christian values and with the constant vindication of his condition as an Army veteran, since he fought in Afghanistan.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.