Anthony Foxx Gets Bipartisan Welcome

As transportation secretary, Foxx will face major budget challenges.

Posted: 05/22/2013 11:47 PM EDT
Anthony Foxx Gets a Bipartisan Welcome at Confirmation Hearing

Unlike some of his prospective new colleagues in President Obama's second-term cabinet, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx was for the most part warmly received during his Senate confirmation hearing to become transportation secretary.

As mayor of the nation's 17th largest city, Foxx was instrumental in bringing to his city a light rail system that cost $462 million in public funds to construct and attracted more than $1 billion in private investment.

When members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation during the Wednesday hearing brought up the budget challenges the Transportation Department faces, including mandatory, across-the-board cuts as a result of the sequester, Foxx said that as mayor, he learned to work with "what's there."

He also said that as transportation secretary, he would work closely with state and local governments that are are implementing measures such as increased gas and sales taxes, tolls and vehicle license fees to raise revenues for infrastructure projects.

“We should listen to them,” Foxx said. “They have good ideas.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-West Virginia), who chairs the committee, reminded Foxx that he has a "huge job" in front of him that includes "many challenges and the solutions are hard." He also urged Foxx to push Congress to increase funding for transportation.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) predicted that Foxx's nomination will be "noncontroversial," while Rockefeller adjourned the hearing "on the supposition that [Foxx] will ride the fast rail right" to confirmation.

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(Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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