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Minister of Transport Buttigieg’s house Accused of allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure money, making him a popular man among state and local leaders vying for windfall gains, Democratic strategists put his name on as a potential candidate to succeed President Biden.
Biden signed the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law on November 15, allocating $660 billion to the administration communications (DOT) over the next five years. Governors and mayors across the country are now scrambling for a slice of the pie, which includes the nearly $211 billion being awarded in competitive federal grants.
Buttigieg, a former mayor himself, has become “the most powerful transportation minister ever” interested in trade Put it, control the wallet an unprecedented amount of money in the circle.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, for example, has spent a significant amount of time in recent weeks in Washington, D.C., pitching his city’s projects to top transportation officials.
“I think you have a little bit of a scramble now among mayors and leaders around metro areas across the country to make sure that our faces are not just our priorities but our faces in front of the people.” He told McClatchy In an article published Monday. “It will be a question of what city is doing their best to show that they are doing something different, that they are doing something special that is worthy of attention and ultimately worth the money.”
Sacramento Mayor Daryl Steinberg said he plans to meet Buttigieg during a trip to Washington in January.
“All of that money — and what our share of it will be — could be transformative,” Steinberg told McClatchy.
Representative Bobby L. Rush wasted no time after signing the infrastructure bill, pressing Buttigieg at a bill signing ceremony on a proposed rail extension in Chicago.
“I wanted to make sure he got away from there with my priorities in his pocket,” Rush said. Washington Post.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler, an old friend of Buttigieg, KXAN . said He’s been talking in the secretary’s ear since January about his city’s high-capacity transportation plan, Project Connect.
Buttigieg’s growing popularity comes with the introduction of his name democratic Chambers as a potential presidential candidate if Biden chooses not to run for re-election in 2024. How and where Buttigieg chooses to hand over money is under intense scrutiny by Republicans trying to derail his political future.
A DOT spokesperson told Fox News Digital that Buttigieg regularly engages with stakeholders who may benefit from the new law, and that he has focused on projects that focus on economic strength, safety, climate, equity and preparing for the future. The spokesperson said that communities of all sizes will benefit from various grant programs, including rural and urban areas, and that Buttigieg is committed to following statutory requirements and the intent of Congress when implementing those programs.
During an appearance this month on MSNBC, Buttigieg said his agency feels “a responsibility to be creative, to be smart, to be entrepreneurial, but also to be careful and prudent and responsible for these dollars.”
A U.S. Department of Transportation spokesperson told Fox News Digital that Buttigieg plans to implement grant programs in a manner that is rapid, transparent, and responsive to the transportation and infrastructure needs of American communities.
Since the infrastructure bill was signed into law, Buttigieg has appeared several times in Baltimore and Phoenix to announce its passage. He plans to fly to Charlotte on Thursday with Vice President Kamala Harris and Representative Alma Adams, DN.C. , to discuss how the law would benefit North Carolina.
The pairing between Harris and Buttigieg has raised eyebrows on social media due to reports the two might face in the 2024 Democratic Party presidential primary. Biden says he plans to run for a second term, but is already the oldest president ever at 79, raising doubts that he will rise to the challenge .