Senate Democrats envision agreeing with Republican leaders to proceed relatively soon with a floor vote that would confirm Elaine Chao, President-elect Donald Trump’s designee to manage the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Democrats’ leader told reporters Jan. 19.
Noncontroversial nominees, such as Chao, should not expect meaningful pushback from Democrats, Schumer said during a press conference on Capitol Hill ahead of Trump’s inauguration. While Schumer did not name Chao, he also did not bring her up when he listed the nominees Democrats intend to hold up or oppose.
“Senators on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for security nominees,” Schumer said. “Some others could be considered quickly.”
The Republican leadership controls the chamber’s schedule and may set up votes at their discretion. But objections from Democrats have the potential of slowing down the confirmation process.
Chao pledged to explore every funding tool available to address the federal Highway Trust Fund’s looming funding shortfall at her Jan. 11 Senate confirmation hearing. She also touted potential benefits in relying on public-private partnerships to finance large-scale infrastructure projects.
Chao, married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), was Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush.