President-elect Joe Biden has had a special affection for South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg for a long time, for several reasons. For one thing, Buttigieg was one of the first former Democratic presidential candidates who endorsed Biden after the primary in South Carolina. Having gotten to know Buttigieg during their debates, Biden said this about his former rival: “I don’t think I’ve ever done this before, but he reminds me of my son Beau. I know that may not mean much to most people, but, to me, it’s the highest compliment I can give any man or woman.”
They will be working together now for the next four years, after Biden named him the Transportation Secretary in his administration.
It will be an important and high-profile role, since the Secretary of Transportation will have the lead role in getting a bipartisan infrastructure package pushed through. Biden has talked about a $2 trillion proposal called Build Back Better that he’s mentioned would go toward schools, water systems, broadband access and transit. Some of the specifics in the proposal include building 550,000 electric-vehicle charging stations and high-speed rail.
If confirmed, Buttigieg would oversee 55,000 employees in a department that operates with a $90 billion budget.