Senate to hold confirmation on DOT Secretary nominee LaHood

| 1/13/2009

It’s normal to be a little wound up when you go in to interview for a new job. But just imagine that your job interview was going to be conducted by the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

That’s who retired Rep. Ray LaHood, R-IL, is going to have to impress in order to land the job of Secretary of Transportation and a spot on President-elect Barack Obama’s Cabinet.

The Committee on Science and Transportation will hold its confirmation hearing on LaHood on Wednesday, Jan. 14, at 2:30 p.m. EST.

LaHood was nominated by Obama in December 2008 and has been lauded as a lawmaker capable of securing needed funding for transportation projects in his home state of Illinois.

More specifically on trucking issues, LaHood voted against continuing the cross-border trucking program with Mexico.

LaHood’s retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives was effective with the start of the current Congress. He served seven terms in the House representing Illinois.

During his tenure in the House, “The Almanac of American Politics” notes that he has assumed leadership roles during a few notable times in history.

“The Almanac” reports that during Gingrich’s last days, LaHood was one of only three Republicans who did not sign the “Contract with America.” He refused to sign because he had reservations about voting for tax cuts before the budget was balanced.

Following that break from the Republican ranks, LaHood joined forces with Democrat David Skaggs to start a bipartisan retreat “to foster a Congress that is more civil and to create better communication among members.”

“The Almanac” was complimentary of LaHood’s ability to hand down evenhanded rulings and his ability to maintain decorum when he presided over the House on occasion.

He was also called on to preside over the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor