Pete Buttigieg instructed Senators at his affirmation listening to that the “Division of Transportation can play a central function” in reviving the struggling economic system “by implementing President Biden’s infrastructure imaginative and prescient.” Gage Skidmore

Now the previous mayor of South Bend, Ind., might be tasked with advancing a lot of President Biden’s Construct Again Higher plan.

The Senate on Thursday confirmed Pete Buttigieg to be the following Secretary of Transportation.

Buttigieg, the primary overtly homosexual particular person to be confirmed to a cupboard place, might be charged with main the way in which on advancing President Biden’s “Construct Again Higher” plan to spend money on infrastructure and clear vitality (assume: electrical car charging stations).

And like his boss, Buttigieg has emphasised the significance of creating positive as a lot of this work is completed in the US as potential.

He confronted some robust questions on the matter from Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) throughout his Senate affirmation listening to a few weeks in the past. For instance, Baldwin particularly famous that whereas Congress handed laws many years in the past requiring manufactured merchandise be topic to Purchase America guidelines, the Transportation Division has offered a blanket waive for a lot of items made exterior the US, together with issues like visitors lights and freeway indicators and cones.

That would quickly change, Buttigieg recommended. “The objective is to verify as a lot as potential of that is Made in America,” Buttigieg instructed Baldwin.

Infrastructure funding generally dominated Buttigieg’s affirmation listening to, and for good purpose.

For one, it’s falling aside – the American Society of Civil Engineers offers America’s infrastructure a D+ ranking. Our crumbling bridges, water techniques, electrical grid, transit techniques, airports, roads, pipelines and extra harm the US economically, make us much less aggressive on the worldwide stage, and sadly, have even price lives.

However investing to rebuild that infrastructure will create hundreds of thousands of recent jobs and supply an enormous enhance to the economic system at a time when it’s struggling to rebound from the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. And if Purchase America provisions are included, we’ll double down on that funding, making certain taxpayer {dollars} go proper again into American staff and communities.

In the meantime, the US is lengthy overdue to spend money on clear vitality infrastructure, and we have to take steps to make sure we don’t commerce overseas oil for Made in China windmills.

Right here’s one other instance. Simply final week, Normal Motors introduced it plans to utterly pivot to creating solely zero emission automobiles by 2035. However for GM to succeed, it’s going to want to make sure shoppers really feel comfy shopping for electrical automobiles – and which means dramatically growing the variety of electrical car charging stations all through the nation (the Biden administration has mentioned it desires to construct 500,000 of them).

It’s a very good signal that the Biden administration has made infrastructure a coverage precedence. However earlier presidential administrations have made comparable pledges with out getting the job finished. Implementation is essential.

Nonetheless, we’re everlasting optimists right here on the Alliance for American Manufacturing, and we stand prepared to assist the Biden administration in its efforts to Construct Again Higher.

“Constructing Made in America infrastructure will create good-paying jobs and spend money on American corporations and communities at a important time,” mentioned AAM President Scott Paul. “Our nation has an historic alternative to rework our transportation techniques with American staff and American supplies. We sit up for working with Secretary Buttigieg to spice up funding and Purchase America guidelines, and be certain that the TIVSA legislation is strongly enforced.” 

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