By Michael A. Memoli
12:58 PM EDT, June 27, 2013
WASHINGTON -- The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to confirm Anthony Foxx as transportation secretary, leaving two controversial choices pending to fill President Obama’s second-term Cabinet.
Foxx, the mayor of Charlotte, N.C., won a vote of 100-0, the third nominee this year to be confirmed without a dissenting vote, but the first to have the support of the full Senate.
He will replace Ray LaHood, a former Illinois congressman and the lone Republican still serving in the Cabinet. Foxx will be the third African American in the Cabinet, joining Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and outgoing United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice.
Foxx, 42, leads the city that hosted Obama’s nominating convention last summer. In nominating him, the president cited his leadership of one of the largest investments in transportation in Charlotte’s history, including a new streetcar project, when he took office in 2009.
In his confirmation hearing, Foxx said he would bring the perspective of a mayor to his post, and focus on the safety and efficiency of the nation’s transportation network.
The Senate has yet to schedule final confirmation votes for Obama’s choices to lead the Labor Department, Thomas E. Perez, and the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy. Perez faces strong opposition from Republicans, who are threatening to block the choice if it comes to a vote.
Senate Democratic leaders have left open the possibility that they would seek to change Senate filibuster rules so that executive nominations could be confirmed with a simple majority vote.
Obama has also nominated Samantha Power to succeed Rice at the U.N.; her confirmation hearing is likely to take place in July. Rice will transition to the role of national security advisor.
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