Trump Fills the Swamp with Elaine Chao (Mitch McConnell’s Wife) for Transportation Secretary
I know this is a couple of days old, but bear with me.
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao, the former labor secretary and wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to be his choice for transportation secretary, an official briefed on the matter told CNN on Tuesday.
Chao served as secretary of labor under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2009 — the longest tenure in the position since World War II — and has been married to McConnell since 1993. She was the first Asian-American woman to serve in a Cabinet position.
Chao also served as the deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1991. Following her time in government, Chao has held a position as a distinguished fellow at the Heritage Foundation in addition to conducting media appearances.
Two Bushes and a Mitch McConnell, sounds like some serious swamp draining to me.
Meanwhile, you know someone’s really a threat to business as usual in D.C. when Chuck Shumer comes out with unbridled praise. As Politiconotes:
Top Senate Democrats signaled that Chao may not face much of a fight to get confirmed, with incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) congratulating her earlier on Tuesday for her exepcted nomination and praising her for her “long history of service to our country.”
There’s also this…
Although Chao worked for the relatively moderate Bush administration, she’s got serious conservative bona fides. During her eight-year tenture at the Labor Department, for example, she drew fire from labor unions and liberals for doing too little to enforce existing laws on wages, overtime and workplace safety. And federal employees threw a “good riddance” party when she left.
Her most significant accomplishment was a 2004 update to the rules governing overtime. Chao boosted the salary threshold under which virtually all workers were guaranteed time-and-a-half pay to $23,660, up from $13,000. But she also made it more difficult for workers who earned above that threshold to receive time-and-a-half overtime pay, prompting howls of outrage from congressional Democrats.
Sure sounds like someone prepared to fight for the little guy.
Interestingly enough, all that is just the tip of the iceberg. As WNDnotes: