Anthony Foxx at his confirmation hearing on Wednesday. Image via C-SPAN.
Earlier today the Senate voted unanimously to confirm former Charlotte, NC mayor Anthony Foxx as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
Foxx will bring a legacy of support for forward-thinking transportation strategies to the position. “Under Mayor Foxx Charlotte has become a leader in embracing transportation innovations and high-quality, public transportation as key building blocks of a prosperous economy,” Transportation for America Director James Corless said in a statement. “We are glad to see him bring that knowledge to his federal role.”
This commitment is deep-rooted for Foxx, who was born and raised in Charlotte. “My first job when I was 12 years old was at Charlotte’s Discovery Place Museum,” he explained during his confirmation hearing on Wednesday. “To get there I rode the number 6 bus after school. The number 6 connected me to the larger world of opportunity, and I truly believe that whether it is a bus, a road, a train, a plane or a ship, our transportation system at its best connects people to jobs and a better quality of life.”
Foxx also brings with him the unique perspective of an elected head of a major city. (We wrote more about this back in April, when Foxx’s nomination was initially announced.) In his role as mayor, Foxx’s goal was to create an economically strong place, and he alluded to this during his hearing.
“We must build this country’s infrastructure to meet the next generation of Americans,” Foxx said. “Private sector cannot do this alone, and the federal government has a responsibility to help ensure our global competitiveness by investing in a robust, multimodal transportation system.”
Transportation investments that support broader economic growth have been a cornerstone of former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s tenure, and we look forward to seeing this work continue under Foxx’s leadership.
Foxx’s confirmation comes on the same day Congress is debating funding for the Department of Transportation (DOT) for fiscal year 2014. At the time of publication the House Appropriations Committee was still debating their proposal, which includes drastic cuts to many of DOT’s flagship programs.