President-elect Donald Trump is expected to announce on Tuesday that former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao will lead the Department of Transportation.
Chao ran the Department of Labor under George W. Bush for the entire two terms of his presidency from 2001 through 2009, one of the longest tenures in the position in the past 100 years.
Chao has been married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky since 1993. She is the first Asian American woman to hold a Cabinet-level position. She also had a leadership position under the first President Bush, having served as Deputy Secretary of Transportation in his administration from 1989 to 1991.
She met the future Commander in Chief at Trump Tower last week in order to discuss labor and transportation policy. Trump has floated a $1 trillion package that would offer tax credits to private investors who want to back transportation projects, saying that such a policy would spur investment, create jobs and boost the economy.
At the Department of Transportation, Chao would have a key role in helping Trump get an infrastructure spending bill passed through Congress, part of Trump’s spending package to increase government-backed work projects. That may present complications in light of her relationship with McConnell who will also be a key player in any infrastructure bill.
The formal announcement is expected to occur at 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.
Trump Spokesperson Jason Miller said on Fox Business Network:
“We’re excited with how the administration is coming together and we think this is going to be a great day. And don’t forget we also have another Cabinet selection coming early afternoon today as the President-elect continues to move forward.”
Another name that had surfaced as a possible candidate for the job was Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), an early Trump supporter, and a member of the House Transportation Committee. He is expected to meet with Trump on Tuesday.