The Senate on Tuesday evening confirmed Ron Batory, allowing him to take the post of head of the nation’s chief rail safety agency, following months of hold-ups from Senate Democrats while lethal rail accidents stacked up.
Batory now becomes the Federal Railroad Administration’s administrator.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other New York-area Democrats had held up Batory’s nomination over their frustrations with what they say is the Trump administration’s lukewarm attitude toward helping fund a multibillion-dollar effort to rebuild rail infrastructure in and around New York City.
The action comes days after POLITICO reported that former FRA official Heath Hall had apparently been serving as a spokesman for a Mississippi county sheriff while he was the acting administrator of the agency. Hall resigned over the weekend after POLITICO raised questions related to his work in Mississippi.
The chamber also approved the nominations of Adam Sullivan to be assistant secretary governmental affairs and Raymond Martinez to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.