Senate Confirms Three More USDOT Nominees

Senate Confirms Three More USDOT Nominees

May 13, 2022  | Jeff Davis

This week, the U.S. Senate confirmed three more pending nominees for senior positions at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

  • Rear Admiral Ann Phillips was confirmed to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration on May 10 by a roll call vote of 75 yeas, 22 nays.
  • John Putnam was confirmed as General Counsel of the Department by unanimous consent on May 12.
  • Vicky Wassmer was confirmed as Chief Financial Officer of the Department by unanimous consent on May 12. (She was already serving as Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs, which no longer requires Senate confirmation, but that job also wears the second hat of CFO, which does require Senate confirmation.)

The confirmation of Phillips brings the total number of Senate-confirmed heads of USDOT modal administrations to just three out of eight:

  1. FAA – Billy Nolen has served as Acting Administrator since the Senate-confirmed Administrator resigned on March 31, 2022. No nomination for Administrator has been made yet.
  2. FHWA – Stephanie Pollack has served as Acting Administrator since January 27, 2021. President Biden has never nominated anyone for Administrator.
  3. FMCSA – Robin Hutcheson has been serving as Acting Administrator since becoming Deputy Administrator earlier this year. President Biden nominated her for Administrator on April 7, 2022 and her nomination is currently pending in committee.
  4. FRA – Amit Bose was confirmed as Administrator on January 12, 2022.
  5. FTA – Nuria Fernandez was confirmed as Administrator on June 11, 2021.
  6. MARAD – Ann Phillips was confirmed as Administrator on May 10, 2022.
  7. NHTSA – Steven Cliff has been serving as Acting Administrator since becoming Deputy Administrator last October. President Biden nominated him for Administrator on October 21, 2021 and the nomination has been approved in committee and is currently pending on the Senate Executive Calendar.
  8. PHMSA – Tristan Brown has been serving as Acting Administrator since becoming Deputy Administrator last year. President Biden has never nominated anyone for Administrator.

The longer that FHWA and PHMSA go without a nomination being made for Administrator, the louder the political clamor will be the next time something big goes awry under the jurisdiction of either modal administration.

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