by Madeline Janicki –
Elaine Chao breezed through the confirmation process, being confirmed to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation by the United States Senate on Tuesday afternoon.
This will not be Chao’s first time serving in a President’s cabinet, serving under President George W. Bush as the Secretary of Labor. Chao is the first Asian-American woman and the first Taiwanese-American in U.S. history to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet. She is also the wife of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY.
Chao’s nomination was confirmed on a 93-6 vote. The six U.S. Senators to vote “nay” were Cory Booker, D-NJ, Kristen Gillbrand, D-NY, Jeff Merkley, D-OR, Bernie Sanders, I-VT, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and Elizabeth Warren, D-MA.
One U.S. Senator abstained from voting, Chao’s husband McConnell, who likely did not vote due to a conflict of interest. In a statement, McConnell said he was pleased the Senate voted to confirm Chao.
“Our infrastructure is vital to the future of the Commonwealth, and I know that Secretary Chao will bring the necessary experience and skills to the job,” he said. “I am so proud of Elaine for her many accomplishments and her dedication to public service. I know that she will make this nation, and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, very proud.”