Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, issued a statement following her vote to confirm Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary. Mr. Buttigieg was confirmed by a vote of 86-13.
“I supported the nomination of Pete Buttigieg to serve as our next Secretary of Transportation. Secretary Buttigieg’s understanding of the infrastructure needs of rural America was evident in his testimony. His tenure as the leader of a city at the crossroads of America has also helped to equip him with experience and skills necessary to succeed in this new role.
“Secretary Buttigieg shares my support for critical transportation and infrastructure grant programs such as BUILD and INFRA. As chairman and as ranking member of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, providing robust funding for these grants has been a top priority of mine and has resulted in millions of dollars flowing to Maine for much-needed infrastructure projects, including the replacement of vital bridges and a new safe harbor for the fishing community of Lubec.
“I was also encouraged by Secretary Buttigieg’s commitment to ensuring that rural areas are afforded the same assistance and funding opportunities as their often better-equipped urban counterparts. The people and economies of rural America rely on safe, reliable, and interconnected transportation systems, and we must not overlook their pressing needs. This includes providing robust federal funding for the Essential Air Service program to ensure that small communities can maintain commercial service, as well as quickly implementing the CERTS Act provisions I authored in the most recent COVID relief package to assist our motorcoach companies, on which countless rural Americans rely.
“I look forward to working with Secretary Buttigieg to improve America’s infrastructure and transportation networks that move our people and products safely and efficiently and connect us with one another.”