Mineta to stay as head of U.S. DOT

| 12/10/2004

Norman Mineta, secretary of transportation, will remain in his office going into President George W. Bush’s second term, media outlets reported today.

Also remaining in the Cabinet are:

  • Labor Secretary Elaine Chow;
  • Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson; and
  • Interior Secretary Gale Norton.

Media and political pundits have speculated for some time that Mineta would leave the Cabinet before the beginning of Bush’s second term. The secretary has been in federal service for some time – including serving both President Bush and President Clinton in Cabinet posts – and has been plagued in recent years by health problems.

However, some of the remarks he made during an appearance this week at a gathering of road builders indicate that he plans to stay in his position – at least until the much-delayed transportation bill finally passes Congress.

“Clearly, the first and foremost focus of our energies early in the coming year must be working with the Congress to pass this long-overdue legislation, so that states and local communities can move forward with their investment plans,” Mineta said.

Tony Principi, secretary of veterans’ affairs, will leave the Cabinet, to be replaced by Jim Nicholson, the current ambassador to the Vatican. Nicholson is a former Army Ranger and Vietnam veteran who has also served in the Army Reserves.