Committee approves Drake for FTA Administrator

Written by Stuart Chirls, Senior Editor
Thelma Drake

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee voted to approve the nomination of Thelma Drake as Federal Transit Administrator.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was the only member of the committee to vote against Drake, who was nominated by President Trump in February. According to reports, Menendez, the highest-ranking Democrat on the committee, said he voted against Drake because she changed her position on the Gateway Project, which would build a new rail tunnel linking New Jersey and New York.

President Trump opposes Gateway as too expensive, and wants the states to pay a greater share for construction.

The nomination now heads to the full Senate.

Drake, 68, was the director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transit in the Gov. Robert McDonnell Administration. A former Republican member of Congress from the state of Virginia, she was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 2004 to represent Virginia’s 2nd congressional district, and served two terms. In 1995, Drake became the second Republican to be elected from the Norfolk area to the Virginia House of Delegates since Reconstruction. She served in the House of Delegates for nine years, representing the 87th District. Drake served as chairman of the Virginia Housing Commission and as a member of the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

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