# Highway Bill

The best news you didn't hear about yesterday

A House Appropriations Subcommittee hearing featuring two low-profile cabinet members won’t make a splash even on a slow-news day, and certainly not when a juicy story like the AIG outrage has so many angles to explore.

But take my word for it: big news came out of yesterday’s Congressional testimony by Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan and Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood. The cabinet secretaries announced

a new partnership to help American families gain better access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs. The average working American family spends nearly 60 percent of its budget on housing and transportation costs, making these two areas the largest expenses for American families. Donovan and LaHood want to seek ways to cut these costs by focusing their efforts on creating affordable, sustainable communities.

I explain why this is important and welcome news after the jump.

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Open thread on Obama cabinet speculation

Who do you think Barack Obama will pick for his cabinet? Post your speculation here.

I predicted before the election that Obama’s cabinet would include at least two Republicans but no Democrats who strongly supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries. However, my brother knows someone who knows someone who knows Obama and thinks that Tom Vilsack will be Obama’s secretary of agriculture.

The two appointments I’ll be watching most closely are attorney general and secretary of transportation. Probably Obama has a long list of people he knows who’d like to be attorney general. I want a strong advocate in that position.

The highway bill is coming up for reauthorization in 2009, and I want the cabinet secretary to push for more balance in our transportation funding, rather than such a huge portion of the federal money going to new road construction. Bill Richardson is my dream candidate for secretary of transportation, but Obama may tap him for secretary of state or some other high-profile job.

UPDATE: I agree with Matt Stoller, Larry Summers would be a bad choice for Treasury secretary.