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The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on Wednesday approved the nominations of Patrick Fuchs and Michelle Schultz as Surface Transportation Board (STB) members.They would serve five-year terms if confirmed by the Senate. Fuchs and Schultz were among eight nominees blessed by the committee, which also approved four bills.Fuchs is a senior professional staff member working on surface transportation and maritime issues for the Senate commerce committee. He also has served as a policy analyst and Presidential Management Fellow at the Office of Management and Budget, where he managed railroad and maritime regulatory reviews.Schultz is a deputy general counsel at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). Prior to joining the agency in 2006, she was an associate with a Philadelphia law firm.The Rail Passengers Association (RPA) hailed the commerce committee’s approval and called on the Senate to swiftly confirm the two STB nominees.“Our association has had the pleasure of working with Patrick closely during his time as a senior staff member of the Senate commerce committee, and we cannot speak highly enough of his commitment to improving America’s rail network and the depth of experience and knowledge he brings to his work,” said RPA President Jim Mathews in a press release. “No one knows better the intent behind the passenger rail protections included in the FAST Act, and I know Patrick will be fair and judicious in the rail matters brought before the STB.”As for Schultz, she developed a reputation at SEPTA for diligence and competence among RPA’s Pennsylvanian members, he said.“I believe she will bring the same aptitude to her work at the STB,” said Mathews.