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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to head the Transportation Department, a source with knowledge of the decision said on Tuesday.

The source, who requested anonymity, confirmed the pick to Reuters. Chao, the wife of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, served as labor secretary under President George W. Bush and was the first Asian-American woman to hold a Cabinet position. The formal announcement was expected Tuesday afternoon.

Although Trump spoke on the campaign trail about wanting to “drain the swamp” in Washington, more than half of Trump’s nine key appointments so far have been accomplished Washington insiders, such as Chao.

Chao will face a number of big decisions at the agency that regulates the nation’s vehicles, airplanes, railroads, pipelines, ports and highways – including how to proceed on self-driving cars on U.S. roads, the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, over people and whether U.S. fuel efficiency standards should be revised.

There are dozens of other pending regulatory issues the next administration will face, including railroad safety and staffing rules, requiring event data recorders in all U.S. vehicles and whether to set rules for airlines requiring they give more passengers with disabilities seats with extra leg room and whether to ban or restrict phone calls made on personal phones on U.S. flights.

She may also take a leading role in Trump’s plans to rebuild U.S. infrastructure. Trump has called for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending over 10 years to rebuild airports, bridges and other projects, but it is unclear how much of the funding would come from the federal budget.

Mitch Bainwol, chief executive of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group that has urged the Trump administration to conduct a sweeping review of auto regulations, praised Chao as a “superb choice.”

He said the next administration will make important decisions on self-driving cars and how to maximize “the rate of innovation in the technologies that save lives, avoid crashes and improve fuel economy.”

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich praised Chao’s expected nomination. She will be a “great Secretary of Transportation. She really understands the federal government-can lead rebuilding our infrastructure,” he wrote on Twitter.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said Democrats want to work with Chao on fixing infrastructure but “will not allow Republicans to use an infrastructure bill as a Trojan horse for undermining workers’ wages and handing massive tax breaks to big corporations.”

Chao is a former deputy transportation secretary and sits on the boards of Wells Fargo & Co <WFC.N>, Ingersoll-Rand Co [IRCOM.UL], News Corp <NWSA.O> and Vulcan Materials Co <VMC.N>.

A Chinese immigrant, Chao arrived in the United States at age 8. Her father, James S.C. Chao, is founder of the Foremost Group, an international shipping company.

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Dan Grebler)

IMAGE: U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) waves to supporters with his wife, former United States Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, at his midterm election night rally in Louisville, Kentucky, November 4, 2014. REUTERS/John Sommers II

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63 responses to “Washington Insider Elaine Chao Picked For Transportation Secretary”

  1. Jinmichigan says:

    Apparently Mitch needs the cash.

  2. FireBaron says:

    Great. A Secretary of Transportation who is opposed to Transportation Safety Regulations. Look at reduction of safety inspections, elimination of regulations that forced companies to allow truck drivers, train operators and aircraft pilots to rest after so many hours on the job, etc.

    • Tajuanajmurphy says:

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  3. jmprint says:

    Great, now her Chinese mafia father has reigns to shipping ports with no oversights.

    • itsfun says:

      racist remark. What did you call President-elect Trump after he talked about a Mexican Judge?

      • jmprint says:


        • itsfun says:

          You don’t know who I voted for or what I voted for. You did make a racist comment. You are proving you are a racist and bigot.

          • Jim Samaras says:

            The ones who cry racism the loudest are the real racists

          • The lucky one says:


          • Jim Samaras says:

            Take a look at jm’s posts or Lil Helpy the septic filler’s. Nothing but racists

          • The lucky one says:

            I have on occasion called out posters, writers or public figures for racist statements. Does that make me a racist? I think when charging racism we need to identify the specific words or actions that are indicated as racist. That’s true whether the charge comes from someone to the left or the right of the political spectrum. In fact the most damning charges are when political “allies” are willing to challenge their colleague for racist words or actions.

            Often racism stems from unconscious beliefs. Some people do “wake up” when their hate speech is brought to their attention in a rational manner. Sadly, most don’t but even one person who sees the light is worth the effort.

          • Jim Samaras says:

            I think people, especially on the left, have become way too sensitive and throw the word around in a nilly willie manner

          • The lucky one says:

            Maybe but I think that is balanced by people, especially on the right, that are too insensitive to the experience of those impacted by racism.

            I’ve seen it both ways with Obama. There is no doubt that as the 1st black president he has faced racial animus that other presidents have never had to deal with. On the other hand I’ve seen valid criticisms of Obama sloughed off as racially motivated.

          • Jim Samaras says:

            We as a human race all must overcome obstacles to get anywhere in life. We use our heads, pick ourselves up and learn to overcome. If race was such an obstacle Obama never would have been elected in the first place. I believe the animus that you speak of was motivated by his socialist policies and had very little to do with the color of his skin.

          • The lucky one says:

            I agree that we each must deal with the challenges life presents us. I believe that poverty is a bigger obstacle than race but I think it’s naive to believe that racism doesn’t present an unfair obstacle and that the double whammy of race and poverty is a virtual death sentence. I say “unfair” because we are a country that prides itself on equality before the law. Our system is better than many but still harbors racial animus from the street level of policing to the court level of prosecution and sentencing.

            As I said I think there are many valid criticisms of Obama that have nothing to do with skin color. It is also quite obvious to me that some of it is racially motivated. I find the charge that Obama is a socialist to be totally without merit. He is as much a corporatist as Clinton or even Bush.

      • The lucky one says:

        Not racist if true but I agree that jm should provide a source for his allegation.

        • itsfun says:

          Then how can anyone call President-elect Trump racist for expressing concern about a Mexican judge because of his stance on border control and immigration.

          • The lucky one says:

            Judge Curiel was born in Indiana to his naturalized American citizen parents. He is not a Mexican, that was a lie propagated by the whiner-in-chief to be. His father first entered the country as a laborer in Arizona in the 1920s. That would mean Curiel’s father was actually in the U.S. before Trump’s own mother (she arrived in the 1930s), who — like Curiel’s — became a citizen herself after marrying his father.

            Then-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, appointed Curiel in 2006 to the state superior court, where he spent six years before ascending to the federal court.
            Schwarzenegger affirmed his support for Curiel tweeting: “Judge Curiel is an American hero who stood up to the Mexican cartels. I was proud to appoint him when I was Gov.”


          • itsfun says:

            I have nothing to say about the Judge. I never did. My point was if someone can call President-elect Trump a racist because he used the word Mexican, than how can that same person call someone’s father a Chinese Mafia and not consider that to be racist.

          • The lucky one says:

            No one is calling Trump a racist because he used the word Mexican. He implied that a majority of Mexican undocumented residents are violent or predatory criminals despite no evidence that is true.

            He said that he could not get a fair trial under Curiel because he is Mexican that is both racist and a lie. Curiel is a native born American. Trump is a serial shameless liar and one of the biggest whiners I have ever seen. Some people whine when they are beaten but he whines before the decision is made and then whines afterwards even when it goes in his favor. Pathetic.

          • itsfun says:

            Just saying Mexico didn’t send us the best illegal immigrants isn’t racist. It is true. Look at the drug cartels, gangs, murders. Even one is too many. I know the judge is a native born American. Are his parents? It would be human nature to stand up for your parents. That is what President-elect Trump was concerned about, not the race of the judge. You can President-elect Trump, what do you call the loser Hillary after her defeat? It is coming out now, that the day after the election, she started to put a team together to overturn the election results. She makes a speech conceding the election while at the same time she is trying to overturn the election. That is not only being a whiner, but also being two faced.

          • The lucky one says:

            Mexico didn’t “send us” any immigrants. Some chose to come here in the hopes of finding income. Certainly some Mexicans who have come here have committed crimes as have some Russians, Chinese etc. (The Russian mob is considered to be one of the most vicious of all criminal gangs).

            Curiel’s parents are naturalized American citizens like Trump’s mother. They don’t need their son to stand up for them any more than Trump’s mother would need him to do so if she was still alive.

            I don’t follow H Clinton so I can’t comment on her actions after the election. However when the presumptive electoral winner claims that millions of votes were cast illegally then a full scale investigation is in order. How many ballots were improperly counted or not counted at all? Allegations of voter suppression by manipulation of voter rolls should be investigated. Gerrymandering to create non-representative districts should be investigated. Claims of voter fraud should be inestigated.

            You will see Trump very quickly back off the absurd claim he made because the last thing the GOP wants is a thorough investigation of electoral shenanigans.

          • itsfun says:

            How many years have dead people been voting in Chicago? How about restoring the voting rights of convicts just before an election to get Hillary elected? Is that not a shenanigan? Most children will stand up for their parents all the time naturalized or not.

          • The lucky one says:

            “How many years have dead people been voting in Chicago?” Your question, why don’t you answer it. How many dead people voted in the last 3-4 presidential elections?

            “How about restoring the voting rights of convicts just before an election to get Hillary elected?” Do you have any proof of that? Why would convicts, some of which owe their incarceration to B Clinton’s policies, vote for Hillary?

            “Most children will stand up for their parents all the time naturalized or not.” That’s true but there was no need to protect his parents, not even remotely construed, that would induce Curiel to rule against Trump.

          • itsfun says:

            Enough dead people voted to get Obama elected. You are better than your response about the convicts. You know darn well Hillary’s friend gave them voting rights to vote for Hillary. Why else would he wait until just before the election.

          • The lucky one says:

            I’m open to considering your allegations if you provide a reliable source. I don’t trust any politician but I also don’t accuse with out some evidence. Where were convicts granted voting rights right before the election?

            Obama 365 McCain 173
            Obama 332 Romney 206

            That’s a hell of a lot dead people voting. Surely there is some evidence.

          • itsfun says:

            Virginia by the governor and there is no way I can spell his name right. Terry McAuliffe?? Something like 6000. That is almost the same number Hillary beat Trump by.

          • The lucky one says:

            I agree that looks suspicious and was likely intended to bolster Clinton’s chances. However I do think felons who have served their time should be eligible to vote.

            At least it was done in the open. GOP voter suppression via a system called the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program is mostly done under cover.

            Our entire electoral system should be investigated thoroughly including gerrymandering and voter suppression, not just voter fraud.

          • itsfun says:

            Yep, the entire system probably should be investigated. I doubt if that happens though. I don’t see why requiring a State issued ID is such a problem for some. You only need to register once in your lifetime or if/when you change your address.

          • The lucky one says:

            I agree if the IDs are free and accessible to eligible voters.

          • itsfun says:

            Agree 100% with you.

          • itsfun says:

            info on drain the swamp. On Nov 22 or 23 on CNN the editor of Southern Poverty Law center said that the “drain the swamp” was a racist slogan. His name is Ryan Lenz.

          • The lucky one says:

            I’d have to see it in context to get his meaning. The phrase “Drain the swamp” originally means to get rid of the malaria-carrying mosquitoes by draining the swamp. Figuratively, “drain the swamp” means “to exterminate something that is harmful” or anything that most of the people hate such as corruption or government waste. – Urban Dictionary

            He may have been using it to identify a way that it was used in a racist way but the phrase is not itself inherently racist. A word like “lazy” can be applied in a racist stereotype but is not in itself a racist term.

          • itsfun says:

            He said the term was now being used by white racist groups, therefore that makes it racist.

          • The lucky one says:

            Again I’d want to hear it myself before passing judgement. It may be that he was implying that white racists often use the term but I don’t believe it is a racist term in itself

          • itsfun says:

            Its best to want to hear it yourself. I don’t think its a racist term either. My only reason for pointing this out was how often now some people just yell racism or bigotry for any reason they can find or try to find.

          • The lucky one says:

            Uhh, actually you did refer to Curiel as a “Mexican Judge” which is untrue.

          • itsfun says:

            Isn’t he of Mexican heritage? If the judge were to fill out a application for job preference, what race would he say he is. Do you think he may just say Mexican or do you think he would say Caucasian?

          • The lucky one says:

            Unless someone is American Indian Native they have a “heritage” from outside the USA. Judge Curiel was born in Indiana to his naturalized American citizen parents. He is not a Mexican.

            Mexican is not a race. It is a nationality. If Curiel was indicating his ethnicity I’m sure he would say Hispanic but maybe like me he would refuse to answer that question since it is irrelevant.

            Do you think African-American or Asian-American suspects should be guaranteed a judge of their own ethnic background? Would Trump, of German heritage, object to a judge of French heritage given the long history of animosity between France and Germany?

            Trump is a classic whiner who will ALWAYS look for a scapegoat for his own transgressions and failures.

          • itsfun says:

            You are taking everything I have said way way out of context. President-elect Trump was expressing his concern that the judge may be racist, not the other way around. You are fine picking words like the people that see a racist behind every tree. You keep calling President-elect Trump a whiner, what do you call Hillary or Stein?

          • The lucky one says:

            “You are taking everything I have said way way out of context.” How so? I am truly curious as to how you arrived at that conclusion.

            “Trump was expressing his concern that the judge may be racist” Yes, yes and what I responded is that there is no rational basis to justify that implication.

            No I don’t see a racist behind every tree though there is certainly plenty out there in our society.

            At this time I would call Clinton and Stein inconsequential. Neither is the president-elect. Losers whining may show a lack of character but when winners whine it’s pathetic.

          • itsfun says:

            President-elect Trump had every reason to fear racism against him by the judge. You must only see a racist behind every other tree. Clinton and Stein are the pathetic losers and whiners.

          • The lucky one says:

            “President-elect Trump had every reason to fear racism against him by the judge” Why???? Neither you, Trump or anyone else has ever given a rational answer to that question. If you have one please share. If not let it go.

            Do you think black defendants should be able to demand a black judge? I don’t but they would have a much claim of racial bias than Trump does with Judge Curiel.

            BTW Stein and Clinton have nothing to do with this.

          • itsfun says:

            I told you why I think he had reason to fear racism. Because you don’t like the reason, doesn’t mean isn’t right. No I don’t think black defendants or green or yellow or blue defendants should be able to demand a judge of their color. In this case racism is in the eyes of the beholder. If President-elect Trump fears racism, who are we to say he doesn’t have a claim of racism. Now we even have some saying the term drain the swamp is a racist term.

          • The lucky one says:

            You said it was because the judge is a Mexican. He is not. You said it’s because Curiel would stand up for his parents. His parents are naturalized American citizens and have no need of his protection.

            “In this case racism is in the eyes of the beholder. If President-elect Trump fears racism, who are we to say he doesn’t have a claim of racism.” Okay if we accept that rationale then who are we to say that a black defendant doesn’t have a claim of racism. The black person could make a much stronger case than Trump on that issue.

            I have not seen anyone refer to draining the swamp as a racist term. Not to worry anyway, Trump has not done anything close to “draining the swamp”. Actually he is filling it with those having vested interests. Even his buddy Bannon is an ex-bankster.

          • itsfun says:

            I should have said Mexican decent. You don’t think children stand up for their parents? It doesn’t matter what the issue is. Children will stand up for their parents. There will be people yelling racism long after we are gone. I’ll try to find where draining the was called racist and by who. I saw it on the news and don’t remember who said it.
            When you get to the station in life where you are even considered for a high level position, it will be next to impossible to find anyone without some kind of vested interest.

          • The lucky one says:

            Of course children would defend their parents if there was a need but in Curiel’s case there was none. Even Trump’s intolerance and bigotry is not a threat to the judges naturalized parents. There is nothing at all in Curiel’s history on the bench to suggest that he does not uphold the law objectively and when dealing with Mexican drug cartels courageously. Trump owes him an apology.

            True about vested interests but Trump is bringing in the very same kinds of people, banksters, lobbyists, Washington insiders etc. that he claimed he would root out.

          • The lucky one says:

            This is one example of Trump “draining the swamp” NOT

            “Donald Trump has reportedly picked his presidential campaign’s finance chairman to be the next US Secretary of the Treasury. Steve Mnuchin is a Wall Street insider, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs, and currently the head of the hedge fund Dune Capital Management.”

          • itsfun says:

            Didn’t the President-elect he wanted to get rid of the kinds of people that have been making a living in DC as government officials? He wants to bring in private industry people, not career government hacks. The next Secretary of the Treasury is a very successful private industry manager. If you are hiring someone the watch the bank, wouldn’t you want someone with experience to watch the bank? Its not like you could bring in a highway engineer to be Secretary of the Treasury. He is also making all his appointees sign a agreement not to be a lobbyist for something like 5 years after they leave the position.

          • The lucky one says:

            Someone with experience yes, but not someone who was part of the bankster cabal that crashed the economy. It’s akin to having the fox guarding the hen house.

            “Matt Taibbi’s depiction of Goldman as “a giant vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” is colorful but appropriate. They were a firm that long prided itself on putting the interests of its clients first but were revealed to have repeatedly sold securities that it fully expected to plunge in value.”

            This is like a rerun of a bad movie. “The forced restructuring of Wall Street took place largely under the direction of Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, who left Goldman in 2006 to take the post at the request of President George W. Bush. Although Paulson was required to liquidate his sizeable Goldman holdings before moving to Treasury, his actions during the 2008 crisis were widely criticized as working to the benefit of his former firm.”

            So I guess it’s true that Mnuchin has experience. Unfortunately the experience is in how to run a criminal enterprise for fun and profit. It is easy to see why he appeals to Trump.

            If you want a full run down of GS criminal activities see:

    • Jim Samaras says:

      Listen to this racist crap huh? Hypocrisy at it’s finest. Gotta love the liberals

  4. FT66 says:

    What a shame to appoint Chao and recycle Washington insiders? She was one of Bush Admin and they didn’t leave their jobs with honor.

    • Bill P says:

      You are right, so much for draining the swamp! It looks like Trump is just enlarging it instead.

      • FT66 says:

        Trump lied to millions, they bought his lies and put him in power. I do guess they are starting to wake up to the reality. And this is just only the introduction.

        • Bill P says:

          I hope you are right about this but see the trolls out in force the last couple of days. These true believers will accept anything Trump claims.

  5. The lucky one says:

    “Although Trump spoke on the campaign trail about wanting to “drain the swamp” in Washington, more than half of Trump’s nine key appointments so far have been accomplished Washington insiders, such as Chao.”

    Only an idiot would have believed that a man who admitted during the first GOP debate that he had used political contributions as bribes was going to “drain the swamp” or in any way reduce political corruption.

  6. stsintl says:

    This is open bribery. By appointing Mitch McConnell’s wife as Transportation Secretary, DJT gets the guarantee that all his other appointments would sail through the Senate. This is what “Art of Making Deals” is all about. Also, Chao’s shipping business will help DJT’s kids in bringing “Made in China” products, when she lowers duties on shipments.
    Poor under-educated, un-educated, white, unemployed, workers in PA, MI, & WI who bought the “Snake Oil” from DJT will end up with diarrhea.

  7. dpaano says:

    Wow, she might be a good choice, but isn’t she just another Wall Street banker….you know, the ones that Trump said he would never allow in Washington, D.C. again but seems to have forgotten that with all his nominations of lobbyists and Wall Street billionaires?

  8. Jim Samaras says:

    Not ALL Washington swamp dwellers are reptilian scum suckers like Nancy Pelosi. Some may actually make decisions that are in the public’s interest and not their own.

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