Senate Confirms James To Be Civilian Head of Corps of Engineers

January 26, 2018

The U.S.  Senate yesterday confirmed R.D. James to be the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, making him the civilian head of the Army Corps of Engineers’ water infrastructure program.

The vote was 89 to 1, with Bernie Sanders (I-VT) serving as the lone “no” vote. The absentees were Senators Blumenthal (D-CT), Burr (R-NC), Casey (D-PA), Corker (R-TN), Durbin (D-IL), McCain (R-AZ), McCaskill (D-MO), Moran (R-KS), Risch (R-ID), and Toomey (R-PA).

A search of the Congressional Record shows zero – zero – debate on the James nomination prior to the 89-1 confirmation vote, which shows just how non-controversial the nomination really was. James’s confirmation hearing before the Environment and Public Works Committee was non-eventful.

James’s confirmation leaves six transportation-related nominations still pending before the Senate (two of which – Sullivan and Batory – are essentially being filibustered behind the scenes by the New York and New Jersey Senate delegations in a demand for funding promises for the new Hudson River rail tunnel.)

Department of Transportation Adam Sullivan Assistant Secretary for Governmental Affairs Placed on Calendar 6/21/17 (Cal. #155)
Department of Transportation Diana Furchgott-Roth Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology Nomination reported 1/18/18 (Cal. #613)
DOT – Federal Highway Administration Paul Trombino III Administrator Returned to the President on 1/3/18 per Senate rule XXXI
DOT – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Admin. Raymond Martinez Administrator Nomination reported 11/8/17 (Cal. #469)
DOT – Federal Railroad Administration Ronald Batory Administrator Nomination reported 8/2/17 (Cal. #261)
Amtrak Board of Directors Lynn Westmoreland Member for a term of five years Nomination reported 1/18/18 (Cal. #615)
Nat’l Transportation Safety Board Bruce Landsberg Member for a term beginning 1/1/18 Nomination reported 11/8/17 (Cal. #467)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineeers R.D. James Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) Nomination confirmed 1/25/18 by a vote of 89 to 1

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