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Senate committee OKs Drake as FTA leader

Thelma Drake at an April 17 nomination hearing.
Photo – U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez's YouTube account


The U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs last week approved the nomination of Thelma Drake as administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was the only committee member who voted against her nomination, the AASHTO Journal reported.

In an April 17 hearing, Menendez said Drake changed her position on the importance of Amtrak's Gateway project in New York and New Jersey. The project includes replacing aging rail tunnels beneath the Hudson River.

When Menendez asked Drake if Gateway were a project of national significance, she said it is "a very significant project" but that she would also like a review of the project.

"This is a different answer than you gave me in my office," Menendez replied. "In my office, you told me, 'Yes, this is a nationally important project.'"

Drake's nomination now heads to the full Senate for a confirmation vote, according to the AASHTO Journal.

In February, President Donald Trump nominated Drake to lead the FTA.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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