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Ray LaHood Confirmation Hearing

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009; 5:46 PM

FORMER REP. RAY LAHOOD (R-Ill.): Chairman Rockefeller and Ranking Member Hutchison, members of the committee, it's an honor for me to appear before you as president Obama's candidate for the United States secretary of transportation.

Today I will tell you a little about myself, communicate my vision for leading the department, if I am confirmed, and most importantly, hear about the issues you feel are important.

Before doing this, however, I want to emphasize two principles I will bring to everything I do at the department, if confirmed.

First is openness. That means an open door to you, to your Senate colleagues, to my former colleagues in the House, and to all Americans who depend on and care about our transportation system.

This was a basic principle of President Obama's campaign, and it will be a watchword for me at USDOT, if confirmed. No one person or agency has all the knowledge, insight or perspective needed, and so I will hear what people have to say before decisions are made.

The second principle I have lived by all of my public service career is fairness. If I am confirmed, I will have the somewhat unusual perspective of being a Republican in a Democratic administration.

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