Senate Confirms Balance-Shifting Nominee to Maritime Commission
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate confirmed Max Vekich to be a member of the Federal Maritime Commission from now until June 30, 2026. Once Vekich is sworn into office in a few days, he will bump a holdover Republican commissioner off the FMC and give Democrats a majority on the FMC.
Vekich was confirmed by a roll call vote of 51 yeas, 43 nays. Vekich had the support of 48 Democrats and 3 Republicans (Susan Collins (R-ME) and the two Alaska Senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan.) (Alaska being particularly dependent on ocean shipping, its Senators probably follow the FMC’s activities more closely than do most of the contiguous Senators.) The 48 Democratic “yes” votes were all of them save the absentees, Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). There were four Republican absentees: John Barrasso (R-WY), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Bill Hagerty (R-TN).
The 5 Seats on the Federal Maritime Commission
Per 46 U.S.C. §46101, “Not more than 3 Commissioners may be appointed from the same political party” and “When the term of a Commissioner ends, the Commissioner may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified, but for a period not to exceed one year.”
- Rebecca Dye (R) – term expired June 30, 2020, and her one-year holdover period has expired per §46101, and yet she is still listed as a member on the FMC website.
- Michael Khouri (R) – term expired June 30, 2021 and is serving in a holdover capacity – being replaced by Max Vekich (D).
- (Chairman) Dan Maffei (D) – term expires June 30, 2022.
- Louis Sola (R) – term expires June 30, 2023.
- Carl Bentzel (D) – term expires June 30, 2024.