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LaHood joins infrastructure lobby as co-chair

Ray LaHood will serve alongside fellow co-chairs former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.(Associated Press)

The Trucker News Services

1/9/2014

WASHINGTON — Like many politicians who retire or leave office for other reasons, former Transportation Secretary has landed a plum lobbying job as a co-chair of Building America’s Future, a bipartisan coalition that lobbies for more federal infrastructure funding.

He will serve alongside fellow co-chairs former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell.

Bloomberg is an independent, Rendell a Democrat and LaHood a Republican.

Together, the BAF co-chairs have called on Washington to support critical transportation infrastructure investments and take action to keep the Highway Trust Fund solvent.

The current highway funding bill, MAP-21, expires at the end of September.

“I am delighted to join Building America’s Future as a co-chair and am excited to work together with some of the nation’s most innovative public leaders,” LaHood said. “While there is widespread agreement that our nation’s aging roads, bridges, transit and aviation systems are woefully inadequate, Washington has failed to show leadership in making the tough decisions to increase revenue to fund these critical investments. With the Highway Trust Fund just months away from insolvency, it is time for action.”

“During his tenure as the Secretary of Transportation and as a member of Congress, LaHood did remarkable work, and I am honored to welcome him to Building America’s Future,” Bloomberg said. “While Congress is stuck in gridlock and the Highway Trust Fund approaches insolvency, cities across America are struggling to find resources needed to maintain and modernize their transportation networks.  We need Washington to step up and provide the necessary funding so cities can invest in stronger, more resilient infrastructure that is able to withstand future severe weather events.”

“The Secretary is a tireless advocate for our nation’s transportation systems, and I couldn’t be more pleased to work alongside such a dedicated leader. No one knows better than the Secretary how challenging it is to break the gridlock in Washington, and I am proud to join him today in calling on Washington to raise the revenue necessary to modernize our critical transportation infrastructure.  If we as a nation do not get serious about meeting this challenge we will continue to fall behind our global economic competitors,” Rendell said.

LaHood brings decades of experience in transportation and infrastructure to Building America’s Future, the organization said in a news release.

LaHood served as the Secretary of Transportation from 2009 to 2013 and prior to that appointment represented the 18th District of Illinois as a seven-term Congressional member and served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

LaHood replaces former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who co-founded the organization with Rendell and Bloomberg in 2008, and who will continue to work with BAF through the Schwarzenegger Institute at the University of Southern California.