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New term, new team

"New term, new team" Continued...

Issue: "Bush: Hail to the chief," Jan. 29, 2005

Transportation

Budget: $61.6 billion

Employees: 60,000

Secretary: Norman Mineta

One of more than 100,000 Japanese- Americans forced into World War II internment camps, Mr. Mineta became the first Asian to serve in the Cabinet when President Clinton appointed him to head the Commerce Department. Tapped by President Bush to lead Transportation in 2001, he was the first secretary to move directly from a Democratic to a Republican Cabinet. Credited with creating the Transportation Security Administration from a blank sheet of paper, he remains popular with leaders of both parties.

Treasury

Budget: $10.8 billion

Employees: 115,897

Secretary: John Snow

President Bush made a point of struggling publicly before asking his Treasury secretary to stay on for a second term. A well-regarded former chairman of railroad giant CSX, Mr. Snow also served in a variety of positions at the Transportation Department. As the point man on the economy, he'll be expected to reassure the markets at a time when interest rates are rising and the dollar is declining.

Veterans Affairs

Budget: $51 billion

Employees: 219,000

Secretary designate: Jim Nicholson

After earning two medals in Vietnam, Mr. Nicholson went on to a career in politics (national chairman of the GOP) and diplomacy (U.S. ambassador to the Vatican). His tenure at the VA will likely coincide with the return of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops from Iraq, putting a new strain on the department's healthcare infrastructure.

-with reporting by Kristin Chapman

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