KULR8: Tester secures commitment from Transportation Secretary Nominee Pete Buttigieg to prioritize rural America

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Jon Tester met Tuesday with Pete Buttigieg, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for the top position at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), to ensure that he will prioritize rural America, ahead of his confirmation hearing Thursday.

Tester and Buttigieg discussed the importance of rural transportation systems, the critical need for infrastructure investments in rural communities and the importance of keeping low-population states like Montana connected to the national transportation network. Buttigieg also accepted Tester’s invitation to visit Montana.

“Mr. Buttigieg and I had a constructive discussion today about the need to make critical investments into states like Montana where too many rural communities are seeing their roads and bridges crumbling,” Sen. Tester said. “If his nomination is confirmed, I’ll be working to ensure that he prioritizes investments into rural transportation systems and infrastructure without creating burdensome, one-size-fits-all regulations that rarely work for smaller communities. And I look forward to bringing him to Montana to see our priorities firsthand.”

Tester questioned Buttigieg about his positions on key issues affecting Montana. He specifically emphasized the importance of BUILD grants for improving quality of life in Montana cities, the need to ensure that regulations are flexible for rural America, shoring up the Highway Trust Fund while bringing more fiscal order to the DOT and the success of Federal Aviation Administration grant programs which have helped Montana airports become more connected to the national transportation network.

Buttigieg’s nomination is scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday, Jan. 21.