President Elect Trump has named Elaine Chao, former Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Secretary of Labor under earlier Republican administrations, and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as his choice to head the Trump administration USDOT. Senator McConnell’s immediate reaction to the appointment and forthcoming Senate confirmation vote was “No, I’m not going to recuse myself.”
Associated General Contractors of America and American Road and Transportation Builders Association both applauded the selection. House Transportation Chairman Bill Schuster and USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx also joined the chorus of praise for Trump’s choice. Trump’s announcement charged Chao with carrying out “our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner.” No explanation was forthcoming regarding the discrepancy between Trump’s campaign promise of $1 trillion for infrastructure investment over the next ten years, and his current transition website posting slashing that figure to a mere $550 billion.