DOT Secretary Ray LaHood spoke to the AP and other media in Peoria this week, and talked a little of this, a little of that.
LaHood said it is too soon to say which projects will be funded. But he said the plan is to get money to states for roads and mass transit as soon as a bill is signed and states submit paperwork.
During the interview in Peoria, LaHood also said other priorities include replacing the nation’s outdated radar-based air traffic system.
The message to the state transportation secretaries will be: “We’re looking to make sure the money is spent correctly, by the book, no short cuts,” LaHood said.
Asked about his own reputation for favoring earmarks when he represented central Illinois as a Republican in the House, LaHood said that wasn’t relevant.
“What I tell people, I’m not an independent operator anymore,” he said. “I didn’t get elected to anything in November — the president did. And he’s made very clear: We’re not going to have earmarks.”