Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has resigned – the latest member of the Obama administration’s cabinet to quit. Detroit Free Press noted that LaHood was the lone Republican in Obama’s first-term cabinet. LaHood is credited for having passed several new safety regulations for the automotive industry as well as the aviation industry. He is also lauded for his work with automakers to implement new fuel economy standards and rest times for commercial airline pilots. He also played a big part during the hearings related to the unintended acceleration cases of Toyota.
In addition, he has worked to start regulations on hands-free phone usage and a new mandate that require backup cameras to aid in the prevention of pedestrian injury. In addition, LaHood had overseen the investigation initiated by the Federal Aviation Administration of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fires. According to the Free Press, Obama is choosing from three people to replace LaHood.
They are Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; the National Transportation Safety’s current chairman of the board Debbie Hersman; and Representative Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who led the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. LaHood revealed that he will continue to hold this job until his replacement is confirmed by the Senate. This process is expected to take about two months. Other cabinet members who had left the administration this year include Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.