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WASHINGTON – The nomination of President Joe Biden’s choice to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was presented to the United States Senate on October 20.
By a 22-6 vote, the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees trucking and freight policies, approved Meera Joshi’s appointment.
The agency’s current deputy administrator, Joshi, would take on the role of administrator if confirmed by the chamber.
His appointment was endorsed by the Senate transport leaders. As committee chair Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) Said, âIf confirmed, Joshi would be responsible for leading the agency’s national security and law enforcement program. “
Democrats responsible for managing Senate affairs have yet to schedule a vote on Joshi’s nomination.
Appearing before senators at his confirmation hearing in September, Joshi promoted security arrangements, calls for infrastructure investments and better communication with stakeholders. As a critical agent in the freight workforce business, she is committed to helping ensure efficient supply chains for commercial truck drivers.
Recognizing the presence of autonomous technologies throughout the freight industry, the candidate told the panel that vehicles equipped with certain modern features have the ability to modernize the business landscape.
She told senators that these technologies, especially those related to autonomous vehicles and vehicle-to-vehicle communication, provide potential safety benefits while improving mobility for cargo and passenger operations.
Joshi placed special emphasis on artificial technologies. She observed: âThe transition from mechanics to [artificial intelligence] happens but for FMCSA the security mission is the # 1 priority, stays the same. Our challenge is therefore to ensure that our regulations aimed at enforcing road safety translate into [artificial intelligence] world.”
Much like many candidates for the Biden administration have done, Joshi called on policymakers to endorse the physical and social infrastructure arrangements outlined in the president’s multibillion-dollar national Build Back Better program. Congress has yet to approve either tranche.
Prior to joining the FMCSA under the Biden administration, Joshi headed the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. His academic pedigree includes degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.
After the favorable vote on Joshi’s appointment, the Commerce Committee turned its attention to Christopher Coes, appointed to the post of Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy at the US Department of Transportation. The candidate is the principal deputy under-secretary in charge of transport policy.
He told senators at a hearing on Oct. 20 that his contribution involved helping with the direction Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg receives. These directives relate to updating federal transportation policies, as well as multimodal initiatives that improve safety, promote fairness, implement climate change action plans and foster innovation.
“President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg have done the fight against COVID-19, the creation of high-quality American jobs, the repair of our crumbling roads, bridges and rail infrastructure, the reconnection of communities for a long time divided and tackling climate change top priorities for this administration, âCoes told senators. “If this is confirmed, it would be an honor to continue to work with Congress on these efforts.”
The panel has not yet scheduled a vote on his nomination.
In addition, the White House recently appointed Steven Cliff as head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cliff is the agency’s acting administrator. As such, he oversees vehicle safety standards, identifies faults and manages recalls. The agency also helps regulate fuel economy and facilitates the testing and deployment of advanced technologies.
His experience includes a tenure on the California Air Resources Board, or CARB. A Senate jurisdiction committee has yet to schedule a hearing to consider Cliff’s appointment.
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