Department of Transportation
The Department of Transportation is an executive department of the United States Government at the seat of Government.
The head of the Department is the Secretary of Transportation. The Secretary is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The Department has a Deputy Secretary of Transportation appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Deputy Secretary—
shall carry out duties and powers prescribed by the Secretary; and
acts for the Secretary when the Secretary is absent or unable to serve or when the office of Secretary is vacant.
The Department has an Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The Under Secretary shall provide leadership in the development of policy for the Department, supervise the policy activities of Assistant Secretaries with primary responsibility for aviation, international, and other transportation policy development and carry out other powers and duties prescribed by the Secretary. The Under Secretary acts for the Secretary when the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary are absent or unable to serve, or when the offices of Secretary and Deputy Secretary are vacant.
Assistant Secretaries; General Counsel.—
The Department has 6 Assistant Secretaries and a General Counsel, including—
an Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs who shall be appointed by the President;
an Assistant Secretary for Administration, who shall be appointed by the Secretary, with the approval of the President; and
a General Counsel, who shall be appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The officers set forth in paragraph (1) shall carry out duties and powers prescribed by the Secretary. An Assistant Secretary or the General Counsel, in the order prescribed by the Secretary, acts for the Secretary when the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy are absent or unable to serve, or when the offices of the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy are vacant.
Duties and powers.—
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tribal Government Affairs.—
In accordance with Federal policies promoting Indian self determination, the Department of Transportation shall have, within the office of the Secretary, a Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tribal Government Affairs appointed by the President to plan, coordinate, and implement the Department of Transportation policy and programs serving Indian tribes and tribal organizations and to coordinate tribal transportation programs and activities in all offices and administrations of the Department and to be a participant in any negotiated rulemaking relating to, or having an impact on, projects, programs, or funding associated with the tribal transportation program.
Reservation of trust obligations.—
In carrying out this title, the Secretary shall be responsible to exercise the trust obligations of the United States to Indians and Indian tribes to ensure that the rights of a tribe or individual Indian are protected.
Responsibility of secretary.—
Nothing in this title shall absolve the United States from any responsibility to Indians and Indian tribes, including responsibilities derived from the trust relationship and any treaty, executive order, or agreement between the United States and an Indian tribe.
Preservation of united states responsibility.—
Office of Climate Change and Environment.—
There is established in the Department an Office of Climate Change and Environment to plan, coordinate, and implement—
department-wide research, strategies, and actions under the Department’s statutory authority to reduce transportation-related energy use and mitigate the effects of climate change; and
department-wide research strategies and actions to address the impacts of climate change on transportation systems and infrastructure.
The Office shall establish a clearinghouse of solutions, including cost-effective congestion reduction approaches, to reduce air pollution and transportation-related energy use and mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Department shall have a seal that shall be judicially recognized.
(Pub. L. 97–449, § 1(b), Jan. 12, 1983, 96 Stat. 2414; Pub. L. 98–557, § 26(a), Oct. 30, 1984, 98 Stat. 2873; Pub. L. 103–272, § 4(j)(1), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1365; Pub. L. 107–295, title II, § 215(a), (c), Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2101, 2102; Pub. L. 109–59, title I, § 1119(l), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1189; Pub. L. 110–140, title XI, § 1101(a), Dec. 19, 2007, 121 Stat. 1756; Pub. L. 112–166, § 2(k)(1), Aug. 10, 2012, 126 Stat. 1286; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title VI, § 6011(a), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1568.)