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Charlotte Mayor Appears Before Senators At Transportation Secretary Confirmation Hearing

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TWC News: Charlotte Mayor Appears Before Senators At Transportation Secretary Confirmation Hearing
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Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx appeared before U.S. Senators Wednesday for his confirmation hearing, and it appears he will easily be confirmed as the next Transportation Secretary. Washington bureau reporter Michael Scotto filed the following report.

Senators showed up wearing their kid gloves on Wednesday.

"This is probably one of the most pleasant hearings on the hill today," said Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.

During a confirmation hearing, they played nice with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, who was nominated by President Barack Obama this spring to lead the Department of Transportation.

"I look forward to our working together, and I look forward to supporting your nomination," said Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Foxx was introduced by Sens. Kay Hagan and Richard Burr. For more than two hours, he aimed to preserve that bipartisan tone by avoiding controversial questions and vowing to work with both Democrats and Republicans.

"My goal as transportation secretary, if confirmed, would be to be as open and transparent as possible," Foxx said.

Foxx will face some tough challenges if the Senate gives him the job, as budget cuts are putting pressure on every government agency.

"We're in a situation with sequester where there's going to be pain," he said.

At the same time, infrastructure is crumbling.

"Our rail lines are deteriorated and outdated and decrepit," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Localities across the country are also struggling to come up with new ways to pay for decent roads.

"We're not going to toll our way to prosperity as a country," Foxx said.

Foxx sounded open to new revenue solutions, and pointed to Charlotte as an example of how investing in infrastructure ends up benefiting the entire economy.

"Our transportation system, at its best, connects our people to jobs and a better quality of life," Foxx said.

Based on the tone of the hearing, it's likely that Foxx will breeze through a committee vote and then get confirmed by the full Senate next month.

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