President Trump nominates two to Surface Transportation Board

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WASHINGTON — Two new faces may soon be regulating the operations of U.S. railroads.

The White House announced on March 6 that President Donald Trump nominated Patrick J. Fuchs and Michelle A. Schultz for two of five posts on the Surface Transportation Board. Their nominations are now with the Senate to consider.

Fuchs is a staff member for the Senate Commerce Committee while Schultz is deputy general counsel for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
If confirmed, the STB will have four members for the first time in its history. The Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015 increased the board from three to five members.

As a member of the Commerce Committee staff for three years, Fuchs played a role in STB and Amtrak reauthorizations. Before joining the committee, he analyzed railroad and maritime regulation for the White House Office of Management and Budget. Fuchs received undergraduate and masters degrees from the University of Wisconsin.

“Railroads and their customers will benefit from his sense of fairness and his talent that we utilized over the past three years at the Commerce Committee," says Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune, R-S.D., in a prepared statement. "I am excited for him to have this opportunity to serve on the Surface Transportation Board.”

Before joining the SEPTA legal staff, Schultz worked in private practice in Philadelphia, and clerked for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. She has an undergraduate degree from Penn State, a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and law degree from Widener University School of Law.

President Donald Trump may name two more board members before year's end. One would be the fifth seat on the board. The other would be a successor to Vice Chairman Deb Miller. Miller's term ended on Dec. 31, 2017, but under STB rules she may continue serving on the board for a year unless a new member is named.
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