Shaheen Statement on Confirmation of Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of Transportation
(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement after voting in favor of Pete Buttigieg to serve as Secretary of Transportation. Buttigieg’s confirmation cleared the Senate by a vote of 86 to 13.
“Before the pandemic, our roads, rails, bridges, buses, airports and waterways needed federal investments, but after the economic crisis we’ve experienced over the last year, that urgency has never been more apparent. For years our country was promised a bipartisan path forward from President Trump on transportation and infrastructure, but to no avail. That’s why it is all the more critical that the Biden administration lead on this effort. I believe Pete Buttigieg is the person for the job and will hit the ground running on day one,” said Shaheen. “As a former Mayor, no one knows the importance of local infrastructure projects in our communities better than Secretary Buttigieg. I look forward to working with him as a partner in the Senate to advance legislation that finally overhauls our transportation and infrastructure network and serves to bolster our economy, safeguard public safety, enhance tourism and ensure Americans have reliable transportation to carry on their daily lives. Addressing transportation priorities for New Hampshire communities, which include restoring red list bridges, repairing our roadways and helping our transportation hubs get to the other side of the COVID crisis, are among my top concerns. I’m ready to break ground and get to work.”
Senator Shaheen has long fought to bring federal dollars back to New Hampshire to invest in critical transportation and infrastructure projects to fix Granite State roads, rail, bridges and ports. In 2019, Shaheen reintroduced legislation, the Strengthen and Fortify Existing (SAFE) Bridges Act to begin to address the more than 47,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. Shaheen also introduced legislation that would create a national infrastructure initiative to fund innovative projects that promote energy efficiency while meeting significant transportation needs. A senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has historically secured federal funding for the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Grant program – formerly known as the TIGER Grant program. In fiscal year 2021 government funding legislation, Shaheen helped secure funding for the BUILD Grant program, totaling $1 billion. In 2017 NH received a $10 million BUILD grant for the I-89 bridge connecting NH and VT, in 2018 the Pease Development Authority received a $7.5 million BUILD grant to rehabilitate the wharf at the Market Street Terminal in Portsmouth and last November, Shaheen announced a $12 million BUILD grant for a NHDOT bridge project