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Obama nominates Charlotte mayor as transportation secretary

April 29, 2013 at 3:54 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, April 29 (UPI) -- President Obama nominated Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Anthony Foxx to be his secretary of transportation Monday, succeeding Ray LaHood.

Obama called Foxx "one of the most effective mayors that Charlotte has ever seen."

"Since Anthony took office, they've broken ground on a new streetcar project that's going to bring modern electric tram service to the downtown area," the president said. "They've expanded the international airport. And they're extending the city's light rail system. All of that has not only helped create new jobs, it's helped Charlotte become more attractive to business."

If approved by the Senate, Foxx, whose city hosted the Democratic National Convention in September, would be the second African-American in Obama's Cabinet and the first black agency officer nominated in Obama's second term. Eric Holder has been attorney general since 2009.

Foxx has the respect of his peers from across the country, Obama said.

"And as a consequence, I think that he's going to be extraordinarily effective," he said.

Obama also plugged his "Fix-It-First" initiative as a way to put people back to work as quickly as possible on the most urgent infrastructure projects.

"And to make sure taxpayers don't shoulder the entire burden, I've also proposed a partnership with the private sector," he said. "But Congress has to step up, fund these projects. They need to do it right away."

Obama praised LaHood for his service as transportation secretary.

"Ray has fought tirelessly to rebuild America's infrastructure -- creating good jobs that strengthen our economy and allow us to better compete in the global economy," Obama said. "So every American can thank Ray for his dedication to make our transportation system not just stronger, but also safer."

Obama also is expected to nominate billionaire Obama donor and business executive Penny Pritzker as commerce secretary and Deputy National Security Adviser Michael Froman as U.S. trade representative, several news organizations reported.

All three positions require Senate confirmation.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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