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Senate Holds Confirmation Hearing for Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary

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Last week, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a confirmation hearing to consider President Biden’s nomination of Pete Buttigieg to be secretary of the Department of Transportation. Mr. Buttigieg advocated for major infrastructure investment, receiving a friendly reception from members of the committee, and is expected to be confirmed easily with bipartisan support. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Buttigieg proposed a robust $1 trillion infrastructure investment, with a heavy climate and public transit focus.

During the hearing, Mr. Buttigieg suggested that raising the federal gas tax to support a sustainable funding stream for the perennially under-funded Highway Trust Fund was on the table, among other options. However, shortly thereafter, staffers walked back openness to raising the gas tax. The reversal on a possible gas tax increase coincided with long-time supporter of raising the gas tax, Rep. Earl Blumenauer’s (D-OR), pivot away from a gas tax and toward a potential vehicle miles traveled scheme.

Conversations with lobbyists briefed by House Ways and Means staff suggest that the taxing committee is taking a serious look at bonding as a major source of revenue for an upcoming infrastructure package.

For more information, contact Andrew Tyrrell at


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