WASHINGTON, D.C. — After a significant delay, the Senate confirmed the nomination of Ronald Batory to serve as federal railroad administrator, The Hill reports.
Batory’s confirmation had been stalled in the upper chamber since August, when the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved Trump’s pick.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao previously accused Democratic senators from New Jersey and New York of holding Batory’s nomination over the Trump administration’s stance on a multibillion-dollar Hudson River rail project known as the Gateway Program, according to The Hill report.
Additionally, it was announced that Thelma Drake has been nominated to be administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. For the full story, click here.
APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas issued the following statement on the confirmation of Batory and the nomination of Drake:
"APTA and its more than 1,500 members congratulate Ronald Batory on his confirmation as administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration. He brings to his new role more than 45 years of leadership experience in the railroad industry. We look forward to working with him on critical issues facing our nation's commuter rail systems, and wish him much success at FRA.
"Additionally, APTA congratulates Thelma Drake on being nominated to the position of Administrator of the Federal Transit Administration. As the former director of Virginia's Department of Rail and Public Transportation and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 2005 to 2009, Drake has hands-on experience with public transportation issues at the city, state, and national levels. We hope for a swift confirmation of this critical position.
"Both FRA and FTA are vital partners to APTA and the public transportation industry. We are eager to work with the leaders of both agencies on priorities that include safety and security, funding for the FAST Act, and an infrastructure initiative that addresses the $90 billion backlog in state of good repair work and sustainable solvency for the Highway Trust Fund and Mass Transit Account."