Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is the latest member of President Obama's cabinet to announce his resignation at the start of the President's second term. According to the Detroit Free Press, LaHood was the only Republican in Obama's first-term cabinet.
LaHood has overseen the passing of numerous new safety regulations for both the automotive and aviation industries. Most notable was his work with automakers to introduce new fuel economy standards, rest times for commercial airline pilots, and was integral during the hearings over Toyota's unintended acceleration cases. He also has worked to begin regulations on hands-free phone usage and a new mandate requiring backup cameras, to help prevent pedestrian injury. LaHood also led the recent Federal Aviation Administration's investigation of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner fires.
The Free Press expects Obama to appoint one of three people to replace LaHood: "Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; the current chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board Debbie Hersman, or Representative Jim Oberstar of Minnesota, who led the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee."
LaHood announced that he will stay in his position until the Senate confirms his replacement, which is estimated to take around two months. He will join Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in leaving the President's cabinet this year.
Source: Detroit Free Press