LaHood: ‘Sequester is dumb,’ next highway bill needs to be longer

| February 28, 2013

infrastructure highway

Outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood — though a lame duck — hasn’t been sitting idly since announcing he wouldn’t be staying in President Barack Obama’s cabinet for the second term.

With sequestration cuts looming Friday, LaHood took the opportunity Wednesday when speaking to members of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials to say that sequestration “is a meat axe approach” and will prevent the country from moving forward with needed infrastructure investment.

“We’re all in this together. Sequester is a dumb idea,” LaHood said. “It will not work. It will not work in helping us reaching our goals to improve America’s transportation. It just won’t.”

That followed LaHood — the only Republican in Obama’s cabinet in the first term — challenging AASHTO members to leave transportation and the country as a whole better than the way it was found, which means setting partisanship aside, he said.

“We must put aside our differences and give our kids and our grandkids a country that’s better than the one we left,” LaHood said. “We inherited the interstate system, thanks to generations of people with foresight. What are we going to leave the next generation?”

The challenge the country faces at present, LaHood said, is figuring out how to pay for needed infrastructure improvements. Though the highway reauthorization funding bill passed last summer was considered a long-term bill — two years — LaHood said future bills should be longer and more comprehensive.

“It’s no secret, two years was all the money they could find, and everybody wished it could be longer and more comprehensive, we certainly felt that way, but we are dealing with what we have,” LaHood said. “Where do we get the resources to get beyond a two-year bill? To do a five-year bill? To have $500 or $600 billion? To do what previous generations have done?”

LaHood said investment in infrastructure gives businesses the “tools they need to compete” and make both commercial and private transportation more efficient and gives the U.S. the opportunity to better compete globally.

Below is a video of LaHood’s full address from

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  • James Deboard

    He worries about what we are going to leave our children & grandchildren? How about Truck drivers & Companies from south of the border Mr Lahood!!! You all wanted the border opened up to Mexican drivers & Companies from down there so you could drive down the earnings of the US Drivers & the companies that they work for. How secure do you think this will all be? Drugs & Illegals will only get worse but you all have to take care of BIG BUSINESS. Glad I retired!!!!!

  • bill

    GO AWAY RAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • David S. McQueen

    Ray the RINO conveniently forgets that sequestration was OBAMA’S idea and it was OBAMA who signed it into law. Anyway, there are no “cuts” in the budget, only less of an increase. The money will be there (no matter how much we have to borrow from the Chinese).

  • martymarsh

    Ray, just like every other politician, you are a drain on America. You have done nothing for this country and you are far from the hero you think you are.
    But I’m just a truck driver, so what could I possibly know?

  • Sherlocktoo

    More than Ray knows!

  • Sherlocktoo

    He is not worried about future generations, well except his, as he fills his pockets with our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren money. This is the most corrupt administration ever. What happened to the 800 billion in stimulus. Oh, that’s right, wall street and the auto makers and the uaw.

  • William McKelvie

    Does he really have the intelligence to decide what is dumb or not? CSA, eobr, one restart per week with two periods of one am to five am, no mandatory training standards for new entrants (NONE!!), lopsided DOT enforcement against smaller carriers and companies, leaving the big ATA backed companies alone, mandatory half hour break after 8 hours of driving, and I am sure there are more but that is a good start. strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.