February 14, 2018

Washington Update


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Late yesterday, the White House announced the nomination of Thelma Drake to be the FTA Administrator.  She had been rumored to be in line for the FTA spot last summer/fall, but then nothing happened and some sources said she was no longer under consideration.  She is a former Republican member of Congress from the Norfolk, VA area, a member of the VA House of Delegates, and the head of Virginia's Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT).  The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation.  Here is a link to the White House statement. 


Also late yesterday, the US Senate finally confirmed Ron Batory to be FRA Administrator.  Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and other Senators had a hold on Batory's nomination for many months in an effort to pressure US DOT to commit federal funding for the NJ/NY Gateway project.  Batory is a retired Conrail executive.  This is good timing for FRA because just last week, Heath Hall, the FRA Deputy Administrator, a political appointee, was forced to resign after it was discovered he continued to work and get paid as a PR consultant in his home state of Mississippi while on the job at US DOT.


In addition, yesterday the Senate confirmed two other US DOT nominees after a long delay - Raymond Martinez to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Adam Sullivan to be Assistant Secretary of Governmental Affairs.  Martinez was previously the Chair of the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission, Chief Administrator of the NJ State Planning Commission, and Commissioner of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.  Sullivan previously worked for the Senate Appropriations Committee, two Republican House members, and was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Congressional Affairs at the Department of Labor under Elaine Chao during the Bush Administration.  

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