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Ray LaHood Takes on New Role

From Republican congressman from Ill. to President Obama's first Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood now takes on a new role as a co-chair of the bipartisan coalition, Building America's Future, to advocate for increased infrastructure investment.
January 15, 2014, 10am PST | Irvin Dawid
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After serving four years as an outspoken Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Ray LaHood is now free to speak on issues he couldn't under President Obama such as raising the gas tax and implementing mileage fees in his new capacity as a co-chair of Building America's Future.

"LaHood will reinforce BAF's message calling for strong support for "critical transportation infrastructure investments" and finding a way to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent," writes the AASJTO Journal editor.

"While there is widespread agreement that our nation's aging roads, bridges, transit and aviation systems are woefully inadequate, Washington has failed to show leadership in making the tough decisions to increase revenue to fund these critical investments. With the Highway Trust Fund just months away from insolvency, it is time for action," LaHood said in a statement.

LaHood took to the media to announce his new position and what he intends to do in his new capacity. He made the rounds at MSNBC (via You Tube), Fox News with Neil Cavuto (via You Tube) who questioned the need to raise the gas taxes and argued that transportation revenues weren't being accounted for, and the PBS Newshour.

Speaking with Judy Woodruff of PBS, LaHood and BAF co-chair Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania raise the need to increase funding for the infrastructure investment that their group advocates.

We have to do something about the gas tax or a vehicle miles travel tax. And we have got to be realistic about that. We have got to create an infrastructure bank that can do credit enhancements that will allow more money to flow into the system. We have got to do it all, [states Rendell].

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Published on Friday, January 10, 2014 in AASHTO Journal
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