December 27, 2017 1:30 PM, EST

Senate Committee to Vote Again on Ray Martinez Nomination in 2018

Ray MartinezAndrew Harrer/Bloomberg News

When Congress returns in January, the Senate Commerce Committee will be tasked with reconsidering President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a spokesman for the committee told Transport Topics on Dec. 27.

Frederick Hill, the panel’s communications director, confirmed that “with the new year the committee will need to vote on the nomination again” of Ray Martinez as FMCSA administrator. Quick approval in committee could set up a vote before the Senate as early as January.

The Senate adjourned for the year without voting on Martinez’s nomination. Hill, and others familiar with the nomination, did not specify a reason for Senate inaction on the nomination in 2017. Under Senate rules, nominations lapse if the chamber does not consider them prior to adjournment.

The Commerce Committee easily advanced Martinez’s nomination in November. The nominee was praised by the panel for, among other things, stating he would “have an open-door policy to work with all stakeholders to meet with them and hear their concerns.”

Martinez is the chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. If confirmed by the Senate, he would succeed former deputy administrator Daphne Jefferson, who retired on Nov. 3 after a stint as acting administrator.