April 5, 2019 11:45 AM, EDT

Senate Committee Approves NHTSA Nominee Heidi King

Heidi KingHeidi King testifies at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in 2018. (Eric Thayer/Bloomberg News)

Heidi King took a step forward in her quest to become administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

On April 3, the Commerce Committee in the Senate, with jurisdiction over freight policy, reported her nomination for the agency’s top job by a vote of 14-12, along party lines.

Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey (D), a champion of the Green New Deal with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), opposed the nominee. The senator cited her stance on carbon emissions regulation.


Markey (left) and Ocasio-Cortez

As Markey put it ahead of the vote, “I’m very concerned, that if confirmed, Ms. King would not only fail to put the brakes on this administration’s rollback of these critical standards, but she will hit the gas heading in the wrong direction.”

GOP floor managers have yet to schedule consideration for the nominee. King had been tapped for the job during the previous congressional session by President Donald Trump. The Senate adjourned without clearing her for the post.

King is NHTSA’s deputy administrator. She had been a regulatory analyst at the Office of Management and Budget and was chief economist on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Her career in the private sector includes stints at Pfizer Inc. and General Electric, according to background on the agency’s website.