WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, U.S. Senator Rand Paul joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to introduce former Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao at her nomination hearing to be Secretary of Transportation.
You can find video and a transcript of Dr. Paul’s remarks to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation below.
Mr. Chairman, it is my privilege this morning to introduce a dear friend and a fellow Kentuckian, Secretary Elaine Chao, for her nomination hearing to serve as Secretary of Transportation. I would also like to welcome her family, including Dr. James Chao, who is renowned in his own right.
My wife, Kelley, and I have come to know Elaine well since our first election to the Senate six years ago, and we are both grateful for her many kindnesses and friendship as we transitioned to public service. We both admire Elaine for her thoughtfulness, integrity, intellect, and dedicated service to the country.
Elaine’s record of accomplishment and leadership make her a truly exceptional candidate. Prior to her nomination, Secretary Chao had served this nation under three Presidential Administrations, most notably as the longest-serving Secretary of Labor since World War II under President George W. Bush.
As an immigrant to this country, Secretary Chao’s successes are not only a testament to the American Dream, but also the unbridled spirit of Kentucky. Having emigrated from Taiwan at the age of 8 with no background in the English language, Secretary Chao would copy all the words of her teachers on the blackboard so her parents could go over them daily when she arrived at home to improve her English skills. Her father worked three jobs to support their six children, but they always expressed optimism for the future. The family was truly grateful to be in America, and despite the challenges, they seized the opportunity that this nation had to offer. Secretary Chao’s parents’ belief in education, service, and hard work set the foundation for her success, which includes a degree from Harvard Business School and 36 honorary doctorate degrees from institutions around the world. But for the Chao family, education is never the end. It is just the beginning.
Secretary Chao’s extensive background in both public and private sectors includes not only her previous stint as Secretary of Labor, but also Deputy Secretary of Transportation, Chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administrator at the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Director of the Peace Corps. It’s a long résumé. We would all wish to have such a résumé. She was also President of the United Way, as well. I have no doubt that she will do an excellent job, and that her integrity will lead her to great heights as the Secretary of Transportation.
I look forward to working with Secretary Chao and the officials at the Department of Transportation to address our infrastructure issues facing our country. I urge the Committee’s favorable consideration of my friend, Elaine Chao.