Pete Buttigieg, U.S. secretary of transportation nominee for U.S. President Joe Biden, speaks during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing in Washington, DC, U.S., January 21, 2021. Stefani Reynolds/Pool via REUTERS

Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s Nominee to Lead the U.S. Transportation Department, Supports the Jones Act

Mike Schuler
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January 21, 2021

President Joe Biden’s pick for U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg, has expressed his support for the Jones Act and its role in creating jobs and supporting the shipbuilding industrial base in the United States.

Buttigieg’s statements were made this morning during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing to consider his nomination.

President Biden announced back in December that he would nominate Pete Buttigieg, former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and a Democratic rival in the race for the presidency, to lead the Department of Transportation. Buttigieg is a U.S. Navy veteran who served as a reservist in Afghanistan.

“Lastly, I am a big Jones Act supporter, and the state of Washington and the trade we have related to the Jones Act to make sure that we have U.S.-flagged vessels,” said Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), the Senate Commerce Committee’s ranking member, during today’s hearing. “Sometimes it gets under attack, but I want to just hear that you support the Jones Act.”

“Yes, I share your support for the Jones Act. It is so important to a maritime industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as a shipbuilding industry here in the U.S.,” responded Buttigieg.

If confirmed, Buttigieg will fill the role previously held by Elaine Chao, wife of former Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell. Chao resigned earlier this month in response to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“The shipyard industry and the national industrial base is critical to our national and domestic security, and we applaud Department of Transportation Secretary nominee, Pete Buttigieg, for his support of the nearly 650,000 hardworking members of the domestic maritime industry but also his vocal affirmation of the value of the Jones Act,” said Matthew Paxton, President of the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA).

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