Pete Buttigieg becomes 1st openly gay person confirmed to Cabinet seat

Pete Buttigieg.
(Image credit: Stefani Reynolds - Pool/Getty Images)

Pete Buttigieg was confirmed Tuesday to lead President Biden's Transportation Department.

In an 86-13 vote, the Senate confirmed the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and 2020 candidate to lead the DOT. The overwhelming vote marks the first time an openly gay person has been confirmed by the Senate to any Cabinet-level department. Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell was previously the first openly gay person to serve at a Cabinet-level, serving for four months last year without Senate confirmation.

In his confirmation hearings, Buttigieg signaled support for enforcing mask mandates on public forms of transportation. He also affirmed climate change would be a "central feature" in any Biden administration infrastructure packages, and noted that "misguided policies and missed opportunities in transportation can reinforce racial and economic inequality."

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Buttigieg's confirmation received congratulations from both sides of the aisle, including from former Democratic primary rival Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

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Several other Biden Cabinet nominees have been confirmed in the past two weeks, includes Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The Senate will also vote on the confirmation of Homeland Security Secretary nominee Alejandro Mayorkas on Tuesday. He is expected to be confirmed.

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Kathryn Krawczyk

Kathryn is a graduate of Syracuse University, with degrees in magazine journalism and information technology, along with hours to earn another degree after working at SU's independent paper The Daily Orange. She's currently recovering from a horse addiction while living in New York City, and likes to share her extremely dry sense of humor on Twitter.