February 8th, 2009
10:55 AM ET
2 years ago

LaHood says stimulus will be quick and done 'by the book'

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spoke with CNN's John King about using infrastructure projects to create new jobs.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood spoke with CNN's John King about using infrastructure projects to create new jobs.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday that the Obama administration will provide funding for state transportation projects quickly once the stimulus bill is passed. But decisions about which projects to fund will be made “correctly, by the book, with no shortcuts.”

Asked by CNN Chief National Correspondent John King whether the White House would waive environmental regulations and other requirements that could slow new infrastructure projects, LaHood said the administration would not grant any waivers.

“It would be different if every one of these states didn’t have projects,” the Republican Cabinet member said.

“These states have had a pent-up demand for these projects to get funded . . . they haven’t had the money to do it . . .We don’t need to waive anything. This is going to be done by the book, according to the rules, no shortcuts, no earmarks.”

LaHood also emphasized that there will be no earmarks in the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus bill currently under consideration in the Senate.

“The president has said all through this and set a very high bar – no earmarks. The money has to go to projects that are ready to go in the states.”

“There aren’t going to be any boondoggles. This money will be spent correctly, by the book, with no shortcuts.”

Watch: LaHood on State of the Union


LaHood also told King that he’s invited every state transportation secretary to Washington for a meeting Wednesday in order to discuss infrastructure projects that could create jobs using funding from the stimulus bill.

The Senate reached a tentative agreement on a compromise version of the bill. A vote on the bill is expected in the Senate on Tuesday.

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Obama 2.0

    And it will be done by the book because that is what Bush does, yea right...
    it will be by the book because Obama knows the book/constitution inside out.

    February 8, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Larry

    LaHood also emphasized that there will be no earmarks in the nearly trillion-dollar stimulus bill currently under consideration in the Senate.

    ------------–WHAT??????-------------

    February 8, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Fan of Common Sense

    Wow. I didn't know there was a book on looting and plundering the National Treasury.

    February 8, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Daniel, Atlanta, GA

    Mr. LaHood, good job!

    February 8, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Okay, okay. Governors, mayors, transportation secretary making their plea. Good to see that important stakeholders are engaged in the process.

    February 8, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. Terry

    More than $43 billion in transportation infrastructure investments" per Cnn...It doubles the 2009 Budget.....the Transportation got their money...but list which states and how much are they getting?

    It's rest of bill that sucks...Why double the Education Budget and I am going to stay on this....2009 Budget was 59.4 Billion....now they want.76.8 Billion.

    $2.9 billion for weatherization programs -NO Home Responsibility…. it's my problem....Go Buy a Tube of Caulk & weatherstripping..are we serious… this gets more than Homeland Security

    Vote No...fix this ....or forget it....because these states in the hole are getting Free Money...the don't have to pay it back like the banks.

    February 8, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. Illinois 2

    You can start by eleminating all the tax breaks for companies sending jobs out of the United States of America...

    February 8, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Alfred Hicks

    How long does this red tape take? Sounds like we should expect a jobs stimulus any time soon...Maybe tax cuts to business would have had a more immediate impact,afterall.

    February 8, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  9. cedgar

    Yes! let us spend more money from the state's to send our
    sec of trans. to talk. Has anyone hear of conference calls correct if
    I m wrong but would this not SAVE MONEY!!!!!!!!. Since when has
    any thing that benefits the city been done fast. What are we going to
    throw a little dirty in all the pot holes around towns. Because any thing
    else will not be fast. It has to be sent out for bid, studies to the environment, contractor back grounds check ect... I know I use to bid
    government contracts 10 years ago. (B & C contracting I even have a DUNS #) Are we just going to throw this process out! I do believe it was put in place to STOP FRAUD, WASTE and to make sure contractors follow Fed.& State laws.

    February 8, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  10. Dan, TX

    That seems like a practical viewpoint.

    February 8, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Albo58

    No earmarks in this bill? Rubbish! It's full of earmarks that will not contribute to our economy at all. And to top that lie off, we're suppose to believe that the money will be spent correctly, by the book, with no shortcuts? OMG, this man's nose must be 10 foot long!

    February 8, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  12. mike

    And someone sees the light!

    February 8, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  13. bk

    Yea right!

    February 8, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |