Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announces resignation
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Tuesday he is stepping down and will not serve in President Barack Obama’s second term.
The only Republican left in the cabinet said he has informed Obama of his decision and thanked the President for the opportunity to lead the DOT.
Obama thanked LaHood for his dedication, hard work and service in the last four years. Obama also thanked LaHood for his friendship since his days as an Illinois senator.
The President credited LaHood for creating jobs and growing the economy by rebuilding roads, bridges and transit systems. Obama was referring to LaHood’s investment in passenger rail system and preparation for the building of the country’s high-speed rail network.
LaHood also made the entire transportation system safer and stronger, according to Obama. The secretary launched the Distracted Driving Initiative that outlawed text-messaging or talking on cellphones while driving leading to a significant reduction in roadway fatalities accident deaths. The initiative led to a ban in handheld cellphone use in the capital and 10 states and a ban on text messaging while driving in the District and 39 states.
LaHood also set a rule to combat pilot fatigue.
Other accomplishments of LaHood are behind-the-scene efforts to pass a transportation funding bill and the crafting of the White House’s economic stimulus package. The passage of the said bill paves way for the extension of the Silver Line Metrorail.
Meanwhile, the White House has yet to choose LaHood’s successor. The Secretary said he will wait for his replacement before leaving his post to ensure a smooth transition.