Retiring GOP Rep. LaHood Likely Obama Transportation Secretary

December 17, 2008 06:00 PM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Ray LaHood is close friend of Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


News broke late Wednesday that retiring Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois, a centrist Republican who previously held a seat on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committees, will be the next Transportation secretary under the Obama administration. Elected in 1994, he served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee until 2002, when he was selected to serve on the powerful Appropriations Committee. Transportation Dept. nominations move through the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Official announcement today? President-elect Barack Obama has a news conference scheduled for today so he could officially announce this selection – Obama is expected to announce Mary Schapiro as his nominee for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman. A top brokerage regulator, Schapiro will be be tasked with overhauling financial-market regulations amid calls for a merger between the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) -- Schapiro was a former head of the CFTC.

LaHood has frequently supported infrastructure investment, and is a close friend of Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), who will serve as Obama’s White House chief of staff.

Cabinet count: Obama has officially announced his selections for 13 of 15 Cabinet positions. (The choice for US Trade Representative is still open after Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.) turned an offer down earlier this week.)

Only Transportation and Labor remain to be officially filled.

The Labor post has reportedly come down to three likely finalists, University of California at Berkeley labor expert Harley Shaiken, Democratic Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Michigan Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm.


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 

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