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President-elect Donald Trump's selection of Elaine Chao as the next U.S. secretary of transportation drew praise today from several rail industry leaders and organizations.Chao served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2009. She also served as the deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991.Here is a selection of reactions to Chao's nomination to run the U.S. Department of Transportation: • Association of American Railroads President and Chief Executive Officer Ed Hamberger: "The nation's rail industry welcomes the President-elect's selection and looks forward to working with Ms. Chao on the many critical surface transportation issues key to U.S. economic growth and prosperity. We know based on her prior tenure at the Department of Transportation that she has a full appreciation of the vital role freight and passenger rail play in America."• American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association President Linda Bauer Darr: "Ms. Chao brings a depth of varied hands-on transportation policy experience to the table. Under her leadership, we look forward to working with the DOT on issues of importance to the railroad industry, such as limiting and reversing harmful over-reaching regulation, balanced investment in the national freight transportation network, a strong commitment to safe and efficient rail operations, and support for permanency of programs like the 45G railroad rehabilitation tax credit that combines two key priorities for President-elect Trump: infrastructure growth and common-sense tax reform." • American Public Transportation Association Acting President and CEO Richard White: "As the former U.S. secretary of labor, Chao is well aware of the concerns of working people and economic competitiveness. ... We are pleased that Chao also has experience with transportation, serving first at the Maritime Administration under President Ronald Reagan and then later as the deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Transportation under President George H.W. Bush."• Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO President Edward Wytkind: "Secretary-designate Chao has an opportunity to play a large role in living up to the commitments made by President-elect Trump that he would rebuild the middle class through job-creation policies. Advancing massive federal investment in new transportation projects is one of the best policy strategies for improving our economy, boosting American competitiveness and putting millions to work."• American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Executive Director Bud Wright: "Former Labor Secretary Chao is a respected leader who, based on her previous service at the U.S. Department of Transportation and in other roles, has a strong understanding of the transportation challenges facing the nation. We look forward to working closely with the U.S. DOT to improve safety and mobility of the American people."• U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.): "From the start, it was my hope that President-elect Trump would select someone to run the Department of Transportation who has a background leading large organizations, knowledge of how Congress and the legislative process work, and the right mixture of public and private experience necessary to oversee a bold agenda to transform America's transportation and infrastructure systems for the 21st Century. Elaine Chao embodies these qualities.”
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