WASHINGTON: A Senate panel on Wednesday easily advanced President Joe Bidens nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be transportation secretary, setting up a final confirmation vote for a key role in Bidens push to rebuild the nations infrastructure and confront climate change.
The Commerce Committee approved the nomination of Buttigieg, a 39-year-old former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, on a 21-3 vote.
His nomination now heads to the full Senate, where a vote could happen as early as this week. He would be the first openly gay person, and one of the youngest, confirmed by the Senate to a Cabinet post.
Biden has been urging the Senate, where Democrats hold a bare majority, to move quickly on his Cabinet picks given the current crisis of COVID-19, which prompted him in part to sign an executive order mandating masks on airplanes and in public transportation to help stem the spread of the deadly virus. The president has also pledged an ambitious agenda of jobs growth, fighting climate change…