June 22, 2015 6:15 PM, EDT

Senate Confirms Daniel Elliott to Surface Transportation Board Reappointment

The Senate on June 22 easily confirmed the nomination of Daniel Elliott for a reappointment on the Surface Transportation Board.

Elliott’s nomination was confirmed by voice vote. During his confirmation hearing, Elliott said he would ensure the board continues “to facilitate the resolution of service issues so that interstate commerce flows as smoothly and efficiently as possible in support of the U.S. economy.”

Surface Transportation Board

Elliott was a lawyer with the United Transportation Union. He was the board's chairman from 2009 until December, when his term expired.

The three-member governing board that Congress charged with resolving service and rates disputes in the freight rail industry oversees an agency of more than 100 employees. The board, which Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), ranking member on the Commerce Committee, called an “important agency,” is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"The AAR congratulates Mr. Elliott on being confirmed once again as STB Chairman and we look forward to continuing a constructive working relationship with him on issues important to this industry and the overall American economy," said Edward Hamberger, president of the Association of American Railroads.

Without Elliott on the board, Deb Miller, appointed by President Obama, has been acting chairwoman, and Republican appointee Ann Begeman has been vice chairwoman.

Last week, the Senate approved reauthorization legislation that would expand the board’s leadership and give the agency new authorities to investigate freight-rail industry concerns.