Republican LaHood Chosen As Transportation Secretary

Surprising many, IL Congressman Ray LaHood, a Republican, was selected to fill the transportation position in Obama's administration, presumably to show a bi-partisan approach. Transportation reauthorization and the stimulus package await LaHood.
December 18, 2008, 9am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"Mr. LaHood would be the second Republican picked to serve in President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet, helping to fullfill a pledge for a bipartisan panel of advisers. The first was Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

Mr. LaHood's resume on transport matters was seen as thin by some critics. He does not currently serve on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, although he has in the past. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee he did not work on transportation funding.

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman James Oberstar (D., Minn.) said Mr. LaHood's skills as an arbitrator will be essential at the Transportation Department.

The next transportation secretary will face an immediate challenge in handling the transportation component of an economic-recovery package that could run more than $500 billion. Mr. Obama has called for the biggest round of public-works spending -- on roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects -- since the interstate-highway system was built."

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Published on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 in The Wall Street Journal
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