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Anthony Foxx Confirmed As Next Transportation Secretary

National Foxx 300x219 Anthony Foxx Confirmed As Next Transportation Secretary

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. (Photo Credit: Alex Wong)

By Joan Lowy

WASHINGTON — Anthony Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., and a political ally of President Barack Obama, was unanimously confirmed by the Senate to be transportation secretary.
The Senate voted 100-0 in favor of Foxx.

As secretary, the 42-year-old Foxx will oversee the agencies within the department that regulate the nation’s aviation, rail, transit and highway systems, as well as auto safety. He replaces outgoing secretary Ray LaHood, who campaigned against distracted driving and led the Obama administration’s efforts to boost the economy by improving the nation’s transportation.

The mayor won national recognition when Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention last year. Foxx calls Obama a friend and was a key surrogate in North Carolina for the president during his re-election bid last fall.

As mayor, Foxx has pushed for expanded use of streetcars and a light rail extension, helped build a new runway at Charlotte Douglas International Airport and helped create a new regional freight distribution center that will link planes, trains and trucks to East Coast ports. He has also unveiled a pilot program for electric vehicle charging stations.

“Anthony knows firsthand that investing in our roads, bridges and transit systems is vital to creating good jobs and ensuring American businesses can grow and compete in a 21st century global economy,” Obama said in a statement.

Foxx takes over the department in an era of constraint as federal agencies are grappling with across-the-board spending cuts that are scheduled to ratchet up next year.

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