Carper Statement on the Nomination of Pete Buttigieg to Lead the Department of Transportation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), released the following statement regarding President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Pete Buttigieg to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“President-elect Biden promised the American people that we will build back better, and, with Pete Buttigieg at the helm of the Department of Transportation, we will. As the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg has demonstrated that he is a leader with the heart of a servant and the vision we need at the Department of Transportation to break ground on a better future for all Americans.

“The future of our nation’s transportation system is not just about connecting one place to another, it’s about connecting us to each other, safely and sustainably. Sometimes, building back better means breaking down the barriers that divide and disconnect us—from the underused highways to the busy high-speed roads that too often divide communities and create obstacles for daily life. Pete has spent his life breaking down barriers of his own. And now, poised to serve as the first openly gay Senate-confirmed member of a presidential cabinet, Pete Buttigieg is breaking down barriers again.

“The mission of the Department of Transportation has traditionally rested on two pillars, safety and economic productivity. Pete Buttigieg understands both of these pillars. As mayor of South Bend, he focused on building a safer, more connected and more prosperous community for everyone. At the forefront of a new generation of leaders, Pete Buttigieg also understands the urgency and gravity of the climate crisis. He knows that the Department of Transportation must adopt a third pillar in its mission – ensuring our nation’s transportation networks are resilient to climate change and putting our transportation sector on a path to achieve net zero-emissions no later than 2050.

“Our nation’s transportation infrastructure should uplift everyone – not just the privileged few – to more opportunity, but where we invest and how we invest matters. Pete Buttigieg understands that. He understands the importance of prioritizing environmental justice and achieving equity, and he will listen to the communities of color and Indigenous communities that have gone overlooked and been underfunded by the federal government for too long. And, Pete Buttigieg knows that American workers supported by strong labor protections should reap the benefits of economic growth and the hundreds of thousands of new jobs that come with significant transportation investments.

“With the perspective of a mayor, Pete Buttigieg understands how, at the local level, well-planned investments in transportation can precipitate economic renewal and greater economic opportunity. His perspective as a community leader will lend itself to community-oriented leadership at the head of the Transportation Department and a community-driven vision for our nation’s transportation networks. And, as a former mayor, he also understands that state and local transportation agencies need certainty and predictability to plan and manage their programs and projects. I look forward to discussing his views on sustainable sources of funding for our federal transportation infrastructure.

“As a fellow veteran, I thank Mayor Pete for his service to our country and for his willingness to serve our country again as part of President-elect Biden’s cabinet. I look forward to the work ahead of us, to build back better than ever before and break ground on a better, safer, more sustainable, and more connected future for everyone in this country.”