White House News Update: Senate Confirms Elaine Chao as Department of Transportation Secretary
U.S. Senate voted 93-6 to formally approve the appointment of Elaine Chao as Secretary for Department of Transportation. She was sworn in on Jan. 31 at the White House.
After a confirmation hearing on Jan. 11 before the Senate Committee of Commerce, Science and Transportation, the U.S. Senate voted to confirm her nomination as Secretary of Transportation. Senate confirmed her nomination on Tuesday, Jan. 31 with 93-6 vote. However, some top Democrats voted against her nomination, as reported by Washington Post.
The Democrats who opposed her nomination are two senator from New York Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Other Democrats who voted no are from Oregon, Massachusetts and New Jersey also opposed her, namely Jeff Merkley, Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker respectively. While one Independent senator from Vermont Bernie Sanders also voted no.
Meanwhile, Ranking Democrat Bill Nelson from Florida supported her appointment. Senator Nelson said that Chao is an experienced woman with a common sense. She is the right person to handle the emergency situation as the demonstrators stormed the airport.
“We need Secretary Chao,” Senator Nelson said. “Someone who has the experience and has common sense.”
On the other hand, Democrats deliberately escalated the tensions between the White House and United States Senate by delaying confirmation on two most important cabinet members from president Trump as reported by New York Times. Democrats stalled the nomination process of Steven Mnuchin for the Secretary of Treasury and Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary .
Democrats boycotted the Senate Finance Committee meeting scheduled to vote for the nomination of the two Secretaries. They argued that the nominees misled them during the hearing and wanted to investigate further on the nominees. The delay of the Senate confirmation for two key cabinet members will significantly disrupt the President Trump administration. Watch the footage of Elaine Chao’s swearing in as The Secretary of Transportation by Vice President Mike Pence below: