The Senate Commerce committee on Thursday recommended Scott Darling to be the next administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Along with Darling, the unanimous voice vote recommended several other pending DOT nominees, a package Commerce Chair John Thune called “non-controversial.”
Darling was officially nominated by President Obama last August, a year after he stepped in as acting administrator following the departure of Anne Ferro in 2014.
In his Jan. 20 confirmation hearing, Darling emphasized the importance of “partnerships” with state enforcement agencies and the trucking industry. But that hearing focused on the regulatory agenda and methods of the FMCSA, rather than on Darling’s ability to lead it.
Indeed, dealing with partisan congressional concerns will keep the next agency administrator busy as FMCSA rolls out a number of regulations that are critical to the industry—while also divisive and politically charged.
Indeed, much of Darling’s conformation testimony was used to assure Commerce committee Republicans that FAST Act-mandated reforms of the agency and its regulatory platform were well underway while he promised Democrats that the Republican-led rollback of driver hours of service limits would soon be addressed.
Darling’s nomination now moves to the full Senate for confirmation.