Obama's New SoT: What You Need to Know About Ray LaHood

Ten years ago, Ray LaHood was gaveling in House impeachment proceedings against President Clinton. Today, President-elect Barack Obama announced that he would be serving as the next Secretary of Transportation.


LaHood is a moderate Republican who has broken with his party over Amtrak funding, voting yes last summer to expand passenger rail service. He also broke with the GOP on the Saving Energy Through Transportation Act. In 2005, he told the Peoria Journal-Star that "we've got a good Amtrak system in Illinois and I don't think we want to destroy it by talking about privatization."

Friends of the Earth responded to the LaHood nomination by saying: "While his overall record on energy and environment issues is poor, LaHood has in recent years broken with many in his party to support crucial investments in passenger rail and public transportation, and he is a member of the Congressional Bike Caucus." LaHood also supported the bicycle commuter benefit bill.

But while LaHood has certain strengths, working long hours doesn't appear to be one of them. When Democrats ousted the right-wing Do-Nothing Congress in 2006, LaHood worried about returning to a five-day work week:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.