Earlier than tapping Cliff, Biden confronted strain to nominate a everlasting NHTSA chief from security advocates who cited a rise in U.S. site visitors deaths regardless of decreased driving through the Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, the company has ramped up its politically fraught investigation of Tesla Inc. and could also be on a collision course with the corporate over its controversial Autopilot system.
The committee additionally superior a number of different Transportation Division officers, together with Ann Phillips to steer the Maritime Administration, John Putnam to be the division’s normal counsel, and Victoria Wassmer to be its chief monetary officer.
Biden wanted to renominate a lot of his transportation picks, together with Cliff, this yr after their nominations lapsed over the Senate’s vacation recess. The transportation nominees nonetheless face hurdles to affirmation.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., has been stalling the nominations of Transportation and Commerce Division nominees since November, saying he’ll proceed till the commerce panel convenes a listening to with the departments’ secretaries on provide chain bottlenecks. A Scott spokesperson mentioned Tuesday the senator deliberate to take care of that maintain.