Transportation Secretary Mineta to resign

News USA Today June 23, 2006
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Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will step down from his position next month, USA Today reported.

Mineta's resignation is effective July 7, White House press secretary Tony Snow said Friday.

Mineta, 74, had been plagued with back problems during his tenure as transportation secretary and spent months working from home and the hospital, according to USA Today. However, he has since recovered, and Snow offered no explanation for why he has decided to leave now.

When asked why Mineta resigned, Snow said: "Because he wanted to."

"He was not being pushed out," Snow said. "As a matter of fact, the president and the vice president and others were happy with him. He put in five and a half years--that's enough time."

Mineta had done service in the Army, was elected to local positions in California, and spent 20 years representing California in the U.S. House. Mineta also served tours in two Cabinet positions--as Commerce secretary under former President Clinton and now as Transportation secretary under President Bush.

Snow credited Mineta with cutting regulations and red tape to liberalize the commercial aviation market, establishing the Transportation Security Administration, helping to shape the highway bill and injecting "sound economic principles" into the nation's passenger rail system, USA Today reported.

Snow offered no other comments about Mineta's departure.

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