Foxx clears first hurdle, DOT nomination goes to full Senate

Published: Jun. 10, 2013 at 10:22 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2013 at 10:22 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx has cleared a major hurdle in his bid for Secretary of Transportation. His nomination cleared a Senate committee on Monday.

According to committee chairman John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation approved the nominations of Mayor Anthony Foxx, to be Secretary of Transportation, and Ms. Penny Pritzker, to be Secretary of Commerce.

Rockefeller said the Foxx vote was unanimous.

"Mayor Foxx and Ms. Pritzker are two excellent nominees for key administration posts. There has been strong bipartisan support for these nominees, and it was evident again today when they were both voted unanimously out of the Commerce Committee," Rockefeller said in a statement.

"I urge my colleagues to act quickly now to schedule votes on their nominations."

Mayor Anthony Foxx was questioned in May by the committee on his experience leading Charlotte and how he would fund future transportation projects amid a tight budget environment if he was confirmed.

The hearing began with opening remarks from North Carolina Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.

"We need to take a hard look at what we need from our ports, rail, air and highway systems over the long term and commit to making the appropriate investments," said Sen. John Rockefeller, the committee chair, in his opening remarks. "We must get away from overly siloed, programmatic funding mechanisms that don't allow for the flexibility necessary to make strategic, multi-modal investments."

In his opening statement, Foxx said that he wants to continue taking a more multimodal approach to transportation, much like his predecessor, Secretary Ray LaHood has.

Questions from senators questioned Foxx on his leadership style, how he goes about finding money to fund projects and how he would ease national mobility challenges.

Foxx met with several members of the committee ahead of the hearings.

President Obama nominated Foxx to head the DOT in April. The president highlighted Foxx's background on building out the transit system here in Charlotte with the Lynx Blue Line and the start of work on the city's east-west streetcar line.

Now that the committee has passed the recommendation, Foxx must clear 60 votes in the full Senate to be confirmed to the position.

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