Parked trucks

Senate panel backs Martinez for FMCSA administrator

Nomination advances to full Senate for confirmation vote

Raymond Martinez is one step closer to becoming the head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) after the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved his nomination on Nov. 8.

Martinez was approved by a voice vote, which advances his nomination to the full Senate. It is not yet known when a vote may take place.

During a confirmation hearing last week, Martinez expressed support for the electronic logging devices (ELDs), but also said he was aware the mandate could create hardships on small truckers. He said he would be willing to listen to reasonable suggestions on ELD and hours-of-service exemptions.

The committee also backed the nominations for seven other positions within the Department of Transportation, Commerce and other areas of the federal government.

“They all share the common desire to serve the American people to the best of their abilities,” said Sen. John Thune (R-SD), chairman of the committee, during his opening statement.

The one that raised the most debate was Jim Bridenstine for NASA administrator. His nomination passed 14-13, with all Republicans voting for him and all 13 Democrats opposing.

During the hearing, the committee advanced legislation aimed at cracking down on websites and social media platforms that deal in online sex trafficking.

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