WASHINGTON — U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood will likely stick around at least for next year, according to the newly minted chairman of next Congress’ House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., told reporters that the secretary had called him and that they would likely be working together next year.

“I got a call from Secretary LaHood; it sounds like he may be staying for awhile,” Shuster told Politico. “I’m not sure exactly what his timing is, but I’m sure there will be an announcement.”

LaHood initially said that he would definitely step down from his post after Obama’s first term was over, but in recent months has retreated from that position and stated publicly that he would need to discuss his situation with the president.

LaHood has said he hopes to see new legislation passed to prevent texting while driving, a cause he has trumpeted during his tenure. In addition to his focus on safety, LaHood is a strong advocate of high-speed rail development, and campaigned diligently to get Congress to pass a new surface transportation law earlier this year.

He also personally interceded several times to keep the bond-funded Dulles Rail project in Northern Virginia on track, and pushed for reform of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the scandal-riddled issuer of those bonds.

The White House said earlier this week that no cabinet posts have been decided, and a LaHood spokesman declined to state whether or not the secretary would be leading the Department of Transportation in 2013 and beyond.

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