Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is in Washington, where he reportedly received a mostly warm welcome yesterday as hearings began on his nomination as the nation’s Secretary of Transportation.
Foxx spent a little less than two hours in front of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. The hearing was described as “pleasant,” and South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott called the hearing “the most amazing confirmation process” he’d seen since his arrival in Washington earlier this year.
In keeping with tradition, Foxx was introduced by North Carolina’s Senators, Kay Hagan and Richard Burr.
In her remarks, Hagan laid out a list of Foxx’s educational and political accomplishments, including his chairmanship of Charlotte’s Transportation Committee while serving as a city councilman from 2005 to 2009.
Hagan said, “Anthony’s direct experience working with the transportation departments at the federal, state and local levels and his proven record of success make him well prepared to serve as the next Secretary of Transportation.”
The 42-year-old Foxx has been a big supporter of Charlotte’s light rail, and has indicated his belief that public transportation projects can help stimulate economic development through private investment.
Foxx was elected Mayor of Charlotte in 2009, and Sen. Hagan said she has confidence in his ability to serve at the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
“I have worked closely with Mayor Foxx during my time in Washington, and I have the utmost confidence that he will serve in this role with great distinction,” said Hagan. “I thank him for his service and willingness to step up when his service is needed, and I encourage a swift confirmation by the committee.”
Sen. Burr told the committee that Foxx is a “homegrown talent” who had experience in all three branches of federal government prior to his election as Charlotte’s mayor.
Foxx told the committee he believes the Department of Transportation should be focusing on three main areas – safety, efficiency and building infrastructure for the future.
The confirmation process for Foxx would also include a full Senate hearing. The nomination by President Obama came last month, after current Transportation Secretary and former Congressman Ray LaHood said in January he would not stay in the President’s Cabinet for a second term.