By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - When Anthony Foxx took over from the hard-charging Ray LaHood last July as U.S. transportation secretary, he had big shoes to fill and needed to adjust from his job as a city mayor to presiding over a sprawling agency with 55,000 employees. Less than a year later, Foxx, 43, has emerged as an up-and-coming talent in President Barack Obama's Cabinet, a central player in Obama's effort to persuade Congress to approve new transportation funding and who just last week fined General Motors $35 million for safety violations linked to 13 deaths. "Crashes happened and people died," Foxx told a news conference in announcing the penalties. It has been a speedy rise for Foxx, a former mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, who got Democrats' attention in 2012 when his city played host to the Democratic National Convention where Obama was nominated for a second term.
New Jersey's Republican Governor Christie plans to propose switching some public workers in the state to a 401(k) defined contribution pension plan, or a hybrid variation, from traditional pensions, according to the Wall Street Journal. New Jersey officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday. New Jersey currently has an unfunded pension obligation of more than $50 billion.
President Barack Obama intends to nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as secretary of housing and urban development in a Cabinet reshuffling, the New York Times reported on Saturday, citing Democrats informed of the plan. Castro, who has often been mentioned as a potential Democratic vice presidential candidate, would take the place of Shaun Donovan, who would move to head the Office of Management and Budget, the newspaper said. That job is being vacated by Sylvia Mathews Burwell, whom Obama has nominated as secretary of health and human services. Castro, 39, mayor of the seventh-largest U.S. city, made his national debut in 2012 at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he was the first Latino to deliver a keynote address.