Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to step down from position

By WEEK Producer

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to step down from position

January 29, 2013 Updated Jan 29, 2013 at 11:42 AM CDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will be leaving the Obama Administration.

LaHood, the only republican still left on President Obama's first term cabinet, says he intends to remain as secretary until his successor is confirmed.

President Obama made this statement on Tuesday about Secretary LaHood:

"I want to thank Secretary LaHood for his dedication, his hard work, and his years of service to the American people – including the outstanding work he’s done over the last four years as Secretary of Transportation. I also want to thank Ray for his friendship. Years ago, we were drawn together by a shared belief that those of us in public service owe an allegiance not to party or faction, but to the people we were elected to represent. And Ray has never wavered in that belief. As Secretary of Transportation, he has fought to create jobs and grow our economy by rebuilding our roads, bridges and transit systems. Under his leadership, we have made significant investments in our passenger rail system and laid the groundwork for the high-speed rail network of the future. And every American who travels by air, rail or highway can thank Ray for his commitment to making our entire transportation system safer and stronger. I am grateful to Ray for everything he’s done, and I wish him only the best going forward."

The former Illinois congressman helped implement several safety measures and highway projects, including steps to prevent distracted driving and promoting high-speed rail.

LaHood also worked with automakers and environmentalists to develop tougher fuel efficiency standards for new cars.