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December 21, 2016 11:45 AM, EST
Trump’s DOT Pick Outlines Priorities for Agency
David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

The effective enforcement of safety, repairing critical infrastructure and expediting the permitting process are priorities at the U.S. Department of Transportation that Elaine Chao said she will address if confirmed as transportation secretary in the Trump administration.

“Given the nation’s need to improve critical infrastructure, it is important to find ways to expedite the process of making repairs and building new constructions and decreasing the regulatory burdens when appropriate,” Chao wrote in a Senate Commerce Committee questionnaire released Dec. 20, a requirement of administration nominees.

“With or without a new infusion of funds, it is necessary to look at the existing processes for infrastructure development and find more efficient ways to address bottlenecks in planning and permitting,” she added.

Chao also indicated her vast experience in federal government has prepared her to lead DOT in “developing legislation and regulatory programs that will enhance transportation safety and infrastructure for our country.”

References to ways of achieving a sustainable infrastructure funding proposal are not outlined in the questionnaire. Chao instead focused on areas of concern, such as ensuring “equity between urban and rural areas.”

Chao, who was labor secretary under President George W. Bush, had served as deputy transportation secretary and deputy maritime administrator.

The Commerce Committee is expected to hold a hearing on her nomination shortly after the start of the new Congress in January.