Elaine Chao Confirmation Hearing Scheduled for Wednesday
The wife of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell will be in the hot seat Wednesday as confirmation hearings continue for President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet. Elaine Chao is the nominee for U.S. Transportation Secretary.
Among the pressing issues facing the next transportation secretary will be how to boost the nation's aging infrastructure to accommodate population growth.
The Associated Press reports that Chao's record as U.S. Labor Secretary suggests she'd have a light hand when it comes to safety regulations and would seek to shift responsibility from the federal government to states where possible.
While at the Labor Department, Chao updated the rules that designate which workers are eligible for overtime pay, and tightened financial reporting requirements for unions. A 2008 Government Accountability Office study showed that Chao’s Labor Department failed to investigate minimum wage, overtime and other complaints from low-wage workers. Chao resigned from the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2015 over the foundation's investments in clean energy. She said that her service on the board was not in line with her commitments to Kentucky coal miners.
If confirmed as Transportation Secretary, Chao would oversee 60,000 employees and a $98 billion yearly budget.
Chao came to the U.S. from Taiwan with her family as a child. She was the first Asian-American woman to serve in a president's Cabinet and served as Labor Secretary under former president George W. Bush.