(Photo Credits: Screengrab at ABC57’S Official Facebook Account)

It’s official, guys, Pete Buttigieg is now the 19th U.S. Secretary of Transportation. 

The two-term mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday with 86-13 vote.  The 39-year-old Afghanistan war veteran makes history as the first openly gay Senate-confirmed member of a presidential Cabinet and as one of the youngest Cabinet secretaries the U.S. has seen in decades. 

Buttigieg, who was one of President Biden’s rivals during the Democratic presidential primaries, was formally sworn into office this Wednesday by Vice President Kamala Harris. He took his oath on a Bible owned by his mother while his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, held it. Watch the moment below:

Buttigieg took to twitter to release a brief statement after he was sworn in. He said, “I’m honored to serve as Secretary of Transportation and help build the kind of infrastructure that creates jobs, empowers all, and keeps travelers & workers safe. It’s time to get to work.”

As transportation secretary, Buttigieg will be the head of a department that has a multi-billion dollar budget, one that employs 55,000 people. 

President Biden, who describes Buttigieg as someone who will “bring a new voice to the administration,” said he chose Buttigieg for the post “because the department is at the center of some of our most ambitious plans to build back better.” Some of these goals included “rebuilding climate-resilient new infrastructure and restoring our crumbling roads, bridges and ports.”

Meanwhile, Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—the largest LGBTQ advocacy group in the United States—congratulated Buttigieg on his confirmation. “This confirmation breaks through a barrier that has existed for too long; where LGBTQ identity served as an impediment to nomination or confirmation at the highest level of government,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “Let this important moment for our movement serve as a reminder to every LGBTQ young person: you too can serve your country in any capacity you earn the qualifications to hold.”

Mr. David added, “President Biden promised to deliver an administration representative of the diversity of this nation, and this confirmation is a significant achievement toward that goal. I look forward to working with Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the entire Biden cabinet.”

Read this story in full here and here.

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