Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s move to keep the chamber in session for part of the August recess has focused on bills that would fund the government and not too much on a slew of high-profile transportation nominees.
Seven of President Donald Trump’s nominees await Senate confirmation months after they were approved in committees. These include Heidi King for the administrator post at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Thelma Drake for the top job at the Federal Transit Administration.
Votes on the nominees have yet to be scheduled. It is unlikely the chamber will take them up prior to Labor Day, an aide with knowledge of the confirmation process told Transport Topics.
Other nominees include Diana Furchtgott-Roth to be an assistant secretary of transportation for research and technology, Leon Westmoreland to be on Amtrak’s board of directors, and Martin Oberman, Michelle Schultz and Patrick Fuchs to be members of the Surface Transportation Board.
Fuchs, whose nomination was approved by the Commerce Committee on April 25, indicated in a questionnaire for senators his interest in serving on the board is due to a belief that its “responsibilities are important; our nation’s rail system moves goods essential to the well-being of the country.”
Besides fiscal 2019 funding measures, Republican leaders have signaled the potential for the chamber to consider aviation and national security policy bills in the coming weeks. Also on the docket is a vote on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The House is in recess.