The U.S. Senate approved Elaine Chao’s nomination to serve as the new secretary of transportation in Donald Trump’s administration by a vote of 93-6 on Tuesday.
Chao, who served in the cabinet of George W. Bush as secretary of labor in two successive administrations, will oversee important changes in transportation over coming years, such as the development of self-driving cars, as well as Donald Trump’s $1 trillion plan to comprehensively upgrade the country’s transportation infrastructure.
In her hearing, Chao said that excessive regulation “dampens the basic creativity and innovation of our country,” and promised to avoid a “patchwork” of regulation in the rollout of self-driving cars.
“The Department of Transportation has a key role to play in modernizing our transportation systems, strengthening our country’s competitiveness, and improving our quality of life. I look forward to working with you to rebuild, refurbish and revitalize America’s infrastructure, so our economy can continue to grow, create good paying jobs for America’s working families and enhance our quality of life,” Chao said at her first confirmation hearing last week.
However, financial disclosure forms released last week showed Chao could collect up to $5 million in Wells Fargo preferred stock after assuming her new role in the Trump administration.
Chao, who was born in Taiwan, is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. She becomes the fifth member of Donald Trump’s cabinet to be confirmed.