Hutcheson Fmcsa Inspection

Committee moves Hutcheson’s FMCSA nomination to full Senate

June 22, 2022
The acting head of trucking’s regulatory arm could become the first confirmed administrator in nearly three years. The Senate’s transportation committee unanimously approved the Biden nominee.

The Senate’s transportation committee unanimously approved Robin Hutcheson’s nomination to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on June 22. She still needs approval from the full Senate to become the first confirmed leader of the trucking industry regulator since 2019.

During an executive session, the current acting administrator of FMCSA and two other Biden administration nominees were unanimously approved by the Senate Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee. Hutcheson testified before the committee on June 8, stressing roadway safety.

President Biden nominated Hutcheson, currently deputy administrator of the trucking industry regulator, to lead the U.S. Department of Transportation division on April 6. She became acting FMCSA head in January.

Along with Hutcheson, the Senate committee approved Biden nominees Michael Morgan, who is up for assistant commerce secretary for environmental observation and prediction, and Sean Burton, nominee for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s board of directors. The voice votes followed no public comment from senators.

Before becoming FMCSA’s acting leader, Hutcheson was deputy assistant transportation secretary for safety policy, where she led the National Roadway Safety Strategy. She noted that that strategy focused on making roadways safer for the men and women operating commercial vehicles during her initial hearing. 

A former Minneapolis director of public works, Hutcheson worked on Biden’s infrastructure bill in 2021 while working in the DOT. She is FMCSA’s fourth consecutive acting administrator. Biden’s previous nominee and acting FMCSA administrator, Meera Joshi, took a job as a deputy mayor of New York City after her 2021 senate confirmation hearing—before any vote was held on her nomination. 

“Throughout Ms. Hutcheson’s tenure as acting and deputy administrator of FMCSA, we have been particularly impressed by her candid, collaborative, and valuable engagement with motor carriers, drivers, and stakeholders throughout the industry,” Chris Spear, American Trucking Associations’ president and CEO, said after the hearing earlier this month.

With more than 500,000 interstate carriers and 4.7 million commercial driver's license (CDL) holders across the nation, FMCSA and its 1,100 employees have overseen significant changes for drivers and carriers. Lately, the freight transportation industry has become a focal point of Biden administration initiatives, including current plans to boost truck driver jobs and strengthen supply chains.

FMCSA, DOT's interstate trucking and busing regulatory agency, has not had a Senate-confirmed leader since President Trump's appointee Raymond Martinez stepped down in 2019.

About the Author

Josh Fisher | Editor-in-Chief

Editor-in-Chief Josh Fisher has been with FleetOwner since 2017, covering everything from modern fleet management to operational efficiency, artificial intelligence, autonomous trucking, regulations, and emerging transportation technology. He is based in Maryland. 

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