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ARSA Will Build Chao’s Aviation Experience

Chao

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, in a photo during her service as head of the Department of Labor. Source: http://elainelchao.com.

On Jan. 31, the U.S. Senate confirmed Elaine Chao as Secretary of Transportation. After the Commerce Committee’s positive reception of Chao during her nomination hearing, the 93-6 vote was something of a foregone conclusion.

Christian A. Klein, ARSA’s executive vice president, congratulated Sec. Chao on her confirmation and assured the new head of DOT that the association would be a resource in building her aviation understanding.

“We know that [Sec. Chao] is no stranger to executive branch leadership and that her personal management experience will serve her well as the nation’s senior transportation official,” Klein said in a statement issued shortly after the vote. “Her focus on rebuilding American infrastructure and willingness to seek new mechanisms for funding transportation investment will well serve both the aviation community and the flying public.

“Of course, we also know that Sec. Chao’s aviation experience is limited. ARSA and the aviation maintenance industry will make that a good thing and support her service by showing her the many reasons why the nation can’t fly without us.”

Finding opportunities to work directly with the new administration is a top priority for ARSA in 2017. Members are encouraged to play an active role in this engagement by taking advantage of this year’s Legislative Day on March 15. By coming to the nation’s capitol, participants can show elected officials and appointed leaders the value of the repair station industry and its impact on both aviation safety and the American economy.

Previously from ARSA...

1/11/17 - Commerce Committee Positive About Chao's Experience

January 11, 2017

On Jan. 11, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee heard testimony regarding the nomination of Elaine Chao for Secretary of Transportation.

Introduced by her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Chao was well-received. Throughout the hearing, members from both sides of the aisle spoke at length about her prior experience in government and her extensive transportation background. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the chairman of the committee, referred Chao as the “ideal candidate.”

In her comments, Chao underscored the need to revitalize America’s transportation infrastructure and highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships. Chao also pledged to expand her Aviation knowledge and work with Congress.

The hearing precedes consideration by the full Senate; given the lack of objections raised by the committee, the chamber is expected to confirm the nomination without controversy before or immediately on Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).

ARSA members interested in engaging with the new administration and the 115th Congress should register for the association’s 2017 Legislative Day.

1/5/17 - Commerce Committee to Consider Chao Nomination

January 5, 2017

On Jan. 11 at 10:15 a.m. EST, the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee will hold a hearing to examine President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to serve as Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao.

The committee’s deliberation precedes consideration by the full Senate.  The chamber is expected to confirm the nomination without controversy before or immediately on Inauguration Day (Jan. 20).

While Chao did serve as deputy secretary of transportation, chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and deputy maritime administrator in the mid-to-late 1980’s, her aviation policy background appears to be limited; but she will not be the first Transportation Secretary with seemingly minimal knowledge with the issues facing the aviation industry. Nonetheless, her experience in managing an executive department (as George W. Bush’s Secretary of Labor) and running one of the world’s largest non-profit organizations (the United Way) will certainly help her come up to speed on necessary policy areas, including aviation.

Once confirmed, Chao will become the second woman in U.S. history to serve as both Secretary of Labor and Transportation while being married to the Senate Majority Leader.

The hearing will take place in Senate Russell Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on the committee’s website, www.commerce.senate.gov.

ARSA members interested in engaging with the new administration and the 115th Congress should register for the association’s 2017 Legislative Day.

11/30/16 - Trumps Taps Former Labor Secretary Chao for DOT Head

November 30, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has named former Department of Labor head Elaine Chao as his nominee to serve as Secretary of Transportation.  Chao will be tasked with overseeing nearly a dozen agencies dealing with all modes of transportation, including the FAA.

While Chao did serve as deputy secretary of Transportation, chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission and deputy maritime Administrator in the mid-to-late 1980’s, her aviation policy experience appears to be limited.  However, she will not be the first person representing transportation issues in a president’s cabinet with seemingly little knowledge of the issues facing the aviation industry. Nonetheless, her experience in managing an executive department and running one of the world’s largest non-profit organizations (United Way) will certainly help her come up to speed – with ARSA and its allies ready to bring her up to speed on aviation and aircraft maintenance.

Chao’s nomination must now be considered by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the full Senate, likely in early-2017.  Chao’s managerial experience, combined with her familiarity with the confirmation process and the fact that she is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), make her a safe bet for approval.  Once confirmed, Chao will become the second woman in U.S. history to serve as both Secretary of Labor and Transportation while being married to the Senate Majority Leader.

ARSA members interested in engaging with the new administration and the 115th Congress – not to mention learning who was first to combine leadership of both the Labor and Transportation departments with a marriage to a prominent senator – should register for the association’s 2017 Legislative Day.



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