FMCSA reform advocate Deb Fischer to head Senate’s transportation subcommittee

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Sen. Deb FischerSen. Deb Fischer

Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) will chair the Senate subcommittee focused on surface transportation and infrastructure in the 115th Congress (2017-2018), per an announcement from Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee Chairman Sen. John Thune (R-S.D).

Fischer may be best known in the trucking industry for the introduction of a bill in early 2015 targeting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its regulations, which Fischer said were over burdensome and, in some cases, unjustified. She successfully attached the legislation to the 2015-passed FAST Act. It requires the agency to better justify new regulations before enacting them.

“Some of the FMCSA’s actions over the past years challenge our shared goal of enhancing safety,” Fischer said during a Senate oversight hearing in 2015. She was speaking to then-interim FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling, who’s been the agency’s permanent administrator since mid-2015. “Congress must reform the agency to ensure higher levels of trust, collaboration and ultimately more effective regulations to keep our nation’s roads safe,” Fischer continued then.

She reiterated similar points Wednesday during the Senate committee hearing of Elaine Chao, Trump’s pick for Transportation Secretary.

In a statement on her website, Fischer said she intends to continue to “[push] policies to keep goods moving safely and efficiently.”