Jan 21, 2021
Pete Buttigieg Confirmation Hearing Statement Transcript for Sec. of Transportation
Transcript of Pete Buttigieg’s opening statement at his confirmation hearing for Secretary of Transportation on January 21.
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Pete Buttigieg: (00:00)
First and foremost, I want you to know that if confirmed, I will work every day to make sure the Department meets its mission of ensuring safety. Safety for both travelers and for workers, and I look forward to working closely with Congress to do so. Safety is the foundation of the Department’s mission, and that takes on new meaning amid this pandemic. We have to ensure that all of our transportation systems, our aviation and public transit, our railways roads, ports, our waterways and pipelines. All of it is managed safely in this critical period. As we work to defeat the virus for good.
Pete Buttigieg: (00:40)
We also have a lot of work to do to improve the infrastructure in this country. A mission that will not only keep more people safe, but will grow our economy as we look to the future. Now is the time, and I believe we have a real chance to deliver for the American people. We need to build our economy back better than ever and the Department of Transportation can play a central role in this, by implementing president Biden’s infrastructure vision, by creating millions of good paying jobs, revitalizing communities that have been left behind, enabling American small businesses, workers, families, and farmers to compete and win in the global economy and tackling the climate crisis. Infrastructure can be the cornerstone to all of this. And you have my commitment that I will work closely with you to deliver the innovation and the growth that America needs in this area.
Pete Buttigieg: (01:35)
As a mayor from the industrial Midwest, I will bring a bottom up perspective on transportation programs and funding. If confirmed, I’m looking forward to working with our partners at the state, local, territorial and tribal levels as well to find solutions to our infrastructure issues, while we also prepare for the future of transportation at a time of great change. When I took office as mayor of South Bend, a city built by the power of American transportation, we had been hit so hard by economic loss that some in the national press listed us as one of America’s dying cities.
Pete Buttigieg: (02:10)
As our city fought its way out of the teeth of the great recession, infrastructure was at the heart of our vision for a better future. As mayor, I worked with public and private partners to launch a smart streets initiative that brought new life to our urban core and to the historically underserved West side of our city. Revitalizing our downtown, redesigning streets and spurring hundreds of millions in major economic investment. I worked with regional and state partners and across the aisle to support enhancements to our inter city train system that Senator Young mentioned, the South Shore Line and our now international airport. As we pioneered public private partnerships at the same time, like Commuters Trust, the benefits program to improve the city’s transportation experience for workers. We got results by bringing people in, engaging stakeholders and residents, prioritizing limited funds effectively and unlocking new resources to solve problems. And that is how I will approach the Department of Transportation if confirmed.