Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx sees his prospects to become the new U.S. transportation secretary improving.
The U.S. Senate's Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on Monday unanimously approved Foxx's nomination. Republican Sen. John Thune of South Dakota said he expects Foxx to be confirmed easily.
Foxx received praise from both Democrats and Republicans during a Senate confirmation hearing last month.
The 42-year-old mayor won national recognition when Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention last year. Foxx calls President Barack Obama a friend and was a key surrogate in North Carolina for the president during his re-election bid last fall.
The Transportation Department and other federal agencies also are grappling with across-the-board spending cuts that are scheduled to ratchet up next year.