The Senate overwhelmingly confirmed former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg as President Joe Biden’s Transportation Secretary on Tuesday.
The Senate confirmed the president’s nominee, who also ran against Biden in the Democrat primary race, 86-13, making him the first Senate-confirmed, openly LGBT cabinet secretary, as many social media users observed.
“This confirmation breaks through a barrier that has existed for too long; where LGBTQ identity served as an impediment to nomination or confirmation at the highest level of government,” Alphonso David, President of the Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement as others celebrated his confirmation on social media.
Notably, many failed to mention that former acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Richard Grenell technically served as the first openly gay cabinet member in U.S. history under former President Donald Trump, though in an acting capacity:
BREAKING: The Senate confirmed Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation with a vote of 86-13; the former South Bend mayor is the first openly LGBTQ cabinet secretary.
— Ben Tracy (@benstracy) February 2, 2021
BREAKING: The Senate has confirmed @PeteButtigieg as Transportation Secretary, making him the first-ever openly LGBTQ person to be confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet-level position.
Another barrier broken for our community. pic.twitter.com/LYEtziSnBZ
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) February 2, 2021
UPDATE: Pete Buttigieg has been confirmed as secretary of transportation, making him the first out LGBTQ+ person to be confirmed by the Senate to a White House Cabinet position — and the first millennial pic.twitter.com/FFu1AApNYC
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) February 2, 2021
Pete Buttigieg has been confirmed as the 19th United States Secretary of Transportation, the first openly-LGBTQ person to be so confirmed by the Senate to a presidential cabinet. In an enormously significant way, a barrier has been utterly shattered. Congrats, Mr. Secretary!
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) February 2, 2021
Florida Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) is among the 13 senators who voted against his nomination, citing Buttigieg’s willingness to “raise the gas tax on the American people to pay for government’s wasteful spending.” Buttigieg told Scott during his confirmation hearing that “all options need to be on the table” in terms of a potential gas tax hike:
Yesterday, @USDOT nominee @PeteButtigieg said he's open to raising the gas tax on the American people to pay for government’s wasteful spending. There is absolutely NO reason we should be placing that burden on taxpayers. Watch more below: pic.twitter.com/n8FEj32BkO
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) January 22, 2021
Scott on Tuesday added that he cannot support policies that hurt American families and small businesses, including raising taxes and increasing government mandates while lowering income and opportunities:
I voted no on @PeteButtigieg for @USDOT Sec. He is willing to raise the gas tax on the American people to pay for government's wasteful spending & I can't support his policies that hurt American families & small businesses like ⬆️taxes,⬇️income,⬇️opportunity & ⬆ gov’t mandates.
— Rick Scott (@SenRickScott) February 2, 2021
During his Senate confirmation hearings, the former presidential candidate promised to use his role to fight various injustices if confirmed by the Senate.
“I also recognize that at their worst, misguided policies and missed opportunities in transportation can reinforce racial and economic inequality by dividing or isolating neighborhoods and undermining government’s basic role of empowering Americans to thrive,” Buttigieg told lawmakers last month.
Author: Hannah Bleau
Source: Breitbart: Senate Confirms Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary