[By David Cullen of Fleet Owner]
Anthony Foxx (D) has been unanimously confirmed as Secretary of Transportation by the U.S. Senate, which had been expected to occur this week. Fox, who had been Mayor of Charlotte, NC, since December 2009, is yet a relative newcomer to elective and appointed office. He was elected in 2005 to an at-large seat on the Charlotte City Council. He served two terms before being elected Charlotte’s 48th–and youngest (at age 38)—mayor.
As noted in a post by TheHill.com, Foxx has already promised he will work across party lines in his Cabinet role: “There is no such thing as a Democratic or Republican road, bridge, port, air field or rail system,” Foxx said when he was introduced by President Obama back in April.
Reaction from trucking stakeholders to the confirmation vote was positive and came swiftly. ““I’d like to offer my heartiest congratulations to Secretary-to-be Foxx on his confirmation,” said Bill Graves, president and CEO of the American Trucking Assns. (ATA). “As I said when he was nominated, the challenges of being mayor of a large city like Charlotte are not all that different from those of being a governor, so I’m confident he will be up to the test of providing this country with the first-rate, world-class transportation system our industry and our economy demand.”
“ATA is and will continue to be open and eager to assisting Secretary-to-be Foxx as he moves into his new role,” said ATA chairman Mike Card, who is president of Combined Transport, based in Central Point, OR. “As an industry we share his stated goal of having the world’s safest, most efficient transportation network. So I offer my congratulations to him and wish him the best as we work to meet those lofty goals.”
“On behalf of the nation’s transportation workers, I congratulate Anthony Foxx on his confirmation by the Senate as the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Dept. “Secretary Foxx is a skilled and respected leader who understands that America’s economy cannot thrive without a world-class transportation system and workforce.
“We are committed to partnering with Secretary Foxx to advance long overdue, large-scale investments in transportation that will improve quality of life, expand the economy, boost our competitiveness, and put people back to work in a still slow economic recovery,” he continued. “We look forward to working closely with Secretary Foxx in pursuit of common sense transportation policies.”
Wytkind echoed ATA’s Graves, noting that “as a former large city mayor, Anthony Foxx will bring to the Administration a strong, firsthand knowledge of the importance of a safe, modern, and efficient transportation system and infrastructure.
“We congratulate Anthony Foxx on his confirmation as U.S. Transportation Secretary and we look forward to continuing the strong partnership that exists between our organizations,” said Bud Wright, executive director of the American Assn. of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
“In his confirmation testimony Mr. Foxx pledged to continue his predecessor’s campaign against distracted driving, look for creative ways to fund the nation’s highway and transit programs and encourage the use of innovative technologies,” Wright continued. “AASHTO shares these priorities and we look forward to working with the Secretary as he addresses the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
Foxx holds a law degree from New York University’s School of Law as a Root-Tilden Scholar, the university’s prestigious public-service scholarship. Prior to joining the DesignLine Corp. as deputy general counsel in 2009, he was an attorney with Hunton & Williams.
Foxx has also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals; as a trial attorney for the Civil Rights Div. of the U.S. Dept. of Justice, and as staff counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary.