In a surprise move, major Washington D.C. media, including Bloomberg, C-SPAN and Congressional Quarterly, are reporting that Representative Ray LaHood (R-IL) will be named by President–elect Obama to be Secretary of Transportation.
If confirmed, LaHood will play a critical role in a diversity of travel and transportation related issues, including the current state of the airline industry, the Federal Aviation Administration, federal rail policy, security issues and proposed infrastructure spending by the incoming Obama administration.
LaHood could be the second Republican named by President-elect Obama to a Cabinet post, following the recent nomination of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The congressman represents the 18th Congressional District of Illinois, and was re-elected in 2006 with 67.3 percent of the vote in the district. He is currently serving his seventh term in Congress. His U.S. House Committee assignments include the Appropriations Committee.
LaHood is also on the Select Intelligence Oversight Panel (Ranking Member); the Subcommittee on Agricultural, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; and the subcommittee on Legislative Branch.