Fri, Jun 23, 2006
ANN REALTIME REPORTING
06.23.06 1230 EDT: After over five years on the job, Department of
Transportation Norman E. Mineta -- the longest-serving DOT
secretary in the agency's history -- announced Friday he will
resign from the position, effective July 7.
Even though he was the only Democrat in the Bush Cabinet, the
White House adamantly denied Mineta was in any way forced to
submit his resignation. White House press secretary Tony Snow said
Mineta announced his resignation "because he wanted to."
"He was not being pushed out," Snow added. "As a matter of fact,
the president and the vice president and others were happy with
him. He put in five and half years -- that's enough time."
Mineta spokesman Robert Johnson told CNN the DOT secretary is
"moving on to pursue other challenges."
His resignation is effective July 7. Mineta was the longest
serving Secretary in the history of the US Department of
Transportation, becoming the 14th Secretary of Transportation on
January 25, 2001.
As DOT Secretary, Mineta oversaw all aspects of the nation's
transportation network -- but in the aviation community he will
likely be best -- and, perhaps, infamously -- remembered for
overseeing the creation of the Transportation Security
In its four year existence, the TSA has placed air marshals
on commercial flights, installed more advanced baggage scanning
equipment at airports, and has hired tens of thousands of workers
to screen air travelers and their baggage.
Most recently in general aviation circles, Mineta was a
prominent figure in the ongoing user fee battle between private and
business pilots, and the FAA, by repeatedly promising to fight user
fees against general aviation pilots on his watch.
That watch, however, is set to end in 14 days...
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