Senate Confirms Chao to Head Department of Transportation

New Secretary of Transportation will become immersed in the congressional focus on infrastructure investments and FAA reauthorization.

Elaine Chao
Elaine Chao was successfully appointed to be the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.U.S. Department of Labor

The Senate today confirmed Elaine Chao to be the next Secretary of Transportation. President Donald Trump nominated Chao on Nov. 29. She appeared shortly thereafter before a hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to consider her nomination.

In the weeks ahead, Chao will become immersed in the congressional focus on infrastructure investments, as well as the reauthorization of funding and programs for the FAA. Industry alphabet groups including the National Business Aviation Association support a long-term FAA reauthorization package that preserves congressional oversight for aviation policy-making. The association opposes privatizing ATC, an issue Chao has yet to publicly weigh in on.

Chao begins her new job with significant background in government leadership posts, having served as Labor Secretary from 2001-2009 and deputy secretary of the DOT from 1989-1991. Chao was also deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration and chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission. She is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.