National League of Cities Statement on Confirmation of Elaine Chao as U.S. Transportation Secretary
The National League of Cities (NLC) congratulates Sec. Chao on her confirmation and commends the Trump Administration for their dedication to bringing America’s infrastructure into the 21st Century.
WASHINGTON — January 31, 2017 — Today, in a show of bipartisan support, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly confirmed the appointment of Elaine Chao as the 18th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The National League of Cities (NLC) congratulates Sec. Chao on her confirmation and commends the Trump Administration for their dedication to bringing America’s infrastructure into the 21st Century.
“Secretary Chao’s appointment comes at a pivotal time for America’s cities. Across the country, there are significant gaps between our infrastructure needs and the revenue and financing available for cities to meet those needs,” said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. “The selection of a department head as uniquely qualified as Secretary Chao demonstrates President Donald Trump’s clear understanding that, without first class infrastructure, America’s workforce cannot compete in an increasingly globalized economy.”
Anthony added, “Lawmakers in Washington, D.C. have proven time and again that they can strike significant, bipartisan compromise when it comes to investing in America’s infrastructure. We look forward to helping Congress and the administration craft a plan that carries all cities forward.”
Local governments own and operate 78 percent of the nation’s road miles, 43 percent of the nation’s federal-aid highway miles, 50 percent of the nation’s bridge inventory, and support our local transit systems. Yet, under MAP-21, the previous surface transportation program, formula funding and grant programs that funded local priorities were constricted, and neither MAP-21 nor the FAST Act solved the funding issue at the heart of a shrinking federal transportation program.
America’s cities will look to Secretary Chao and President Trump for their leadership in identifying solutions to keep the Highway Trust Fund – the primary revenue stream for the federal transportation program – solvent, to ensure a strong and ongoing federal partnership through formula funding and discretionary grant programs, to protect the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds, and to identify new and innovative opportunities for financing.
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.