A transportation policy analyst is posing his own questions for
the next secretary of transportation.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is stepping down, forcing
President Obama to make another pick for his cabinet. While the
news comes after several departures, it was reported as early as October 2011 that LaHood would be leaving at
the end of the president's first term.
So far, the list of potential replacements includes Los Angeles
mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and National Transportation Safety Board
chairman Deborah Hersman. Regardless, Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise
Institute (CEI) believes the selection will be more about
political points than anything else.
LaHood, for instance, was the only Republican nominated to President Obama's original
"Transportation … often people don't get very excited about it,"
Scribner admits, "but I would like to hear tough questions for any
potential incoming [Department of] Transportation secretary on
these sort of livability programs: The Highway Trust Fund is going
broke, yet we are spending money on bike trails and wider sidewalks
and all sorts of other things. I'd also like to see his or her
thoughts on the high-speed rail program as initially envisioned by
the Obama administration and on how it might move forward."
Scribner is also curious about how the next DOT secretary might
implement the most recent highway law through regulatory rule
Even so, he has his doubts that the issues would ever come up in
a confirmation hearing.
"Most of the questions are going to be softballs, and I don't
expect much controversy in confirming a new Transportation
secretary," the analyst concludes.