Senate Confirms Transportation, Commerce Nominees After GOP Hold

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The Senate confirmed long-stalled nominees for key positions in the Commerce and Transportation departments Thursday after a Republican senator dropped the hold he had placed on them over supply chain concerns.

The chamber confirmed by voice vote Mohsin Raza Syed to be an assistant secretary of transportation, Grant Harris to be an assistant secretary of commerce, and Laurie Locascio to be under secretary of commerce for standards and technology, among others.

Movement on the nominations came after Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) ended the procedural tactic he had used to slow progress on Commerce and Transportation nominees until a Senate panel agreed to convene a hearing on supply chain issues with the leaders of those departments. The delay left several senior leadership spots open for months.

Earlier: Supply Chain Woes Spur Push to Slow Transportation Nominees

Tricia Enright, communications director for the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said the panel plans to invite Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to separate hearings to testify on President Joe Biden’s budget. Scott said those meetings would fulfill his demand.

“I look forward to getting answers from the Secretaries on how they are working to solve this crisis that’s been plaguing families and businesses for too long,” Scott said in a statement.

Other nominees for Transportation Department subagencies are awaiting confirmation after securing committee votes, including Steven Cliff to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Ann Phillips to lead the Maritime Administration.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lillianna Byington in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Babbage at; Robin Meszoly at

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