Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a hearing on the nomination of Nicole R. Nason to be administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.

For more information on Nason’s testimony click here.

Senator Barrasso’s remarks:

“Today, we will consider the nomination of Nicole R. Nason to be administrator of the Federal Highway Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Ms. Nason is well-qualified for this important post.

“She brings impressive, meaningful experience in federal transportation policy to this critically important position.

“I applaud President Trump’s nomination of such an accomplished and dedicated public servant.

“The Federal Highway Administration plays a central role in America’s mobility.

“The administration is the lead federal partner to state and local transportation programs that maintain and improve our nation’s roads, highways, and bridges.

“America’s transportation infrastructure faces a lot of challenges.

“For far too long, the Federal Highway Administration has been without Senate-confirmed leadership.

“Moreover, the authorization of federal highway programs will expire in September of next year.

“The Congressional Budget Office projects the Highway Trust Fund will become insolvent sometime in 2021.

“That’s why we must work together in this committee to write and pass a bipartisan highway bill that upgrades America’s roads and bridges in a fiscally responsible manner, and do it in this Congress.

“We successfully worked together to pass comprehensive, bipartisan water infrastructure legislation.

“Now let’s come together to fix our highways, roads, and bridges.

“This legislation must address the needs of rural America, and well as urban America.

“Rural roads are vital to bringing raw materials and products from the heartland to urban centers.

“Federal highways like I-80 run coast to coast, bringing goods and services across America.

“This includes the stretch of I-80 in my home state of Wyoming.

“We must maintain and improve these highways in rural states to keep these vital arteries of commerce open.

“In addition, I strongly support the federal highway program’s current reliance on distributing funds by formula to the states. 

“That is the best way to ensure that funding is transformed into projects quickly.

“The Federal Highway Administration will need a strong administrator to work with Congress on the deployment, development, and implementation of highway infrastructure legislation.

“Nicole Nason is the right person for the job.

 “During the Bush Administration, Ms. Nason served as administrator of the

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Department of Transportation’s top road safety official.

“Prior to this role, she served as the Department of Transportation’s assistant secretary of government affairs and played a key role in negotiating the bipartisan passage of a 5-year surface transportation reauthorization bill.

“She currently serves as assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Administration, where she manages nearly 2,000 employees and contractors. 

“She has won praise from a wide variety of groups.

“Helen Witty, national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, stated: ‘Nicole is a true champion of highway safety and will be an asset to the Department of Transportation as the Federal Highway Administration administrator. On behalf of MADD, I wholeheartedly endorse her for this position.’

“The Associated General Contractors of America said that she is a ‘superb choice to fulfill FHWA’s leadership role in improving mobility on our nation's highways. As such, AGC urges the Senate to quickly confirm her nomination.’

“The Governors Highway Safety Association said that: ‘Throughout her career, Ms. Nason has demonstrated a clear commitment to public service and, during her tenure as administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a dedication to advancing highway safety.’

“Confirming Ms. Nason to be administrator of the Federal Highway Administration will be an important step in supporting our nation’s highways, roads, and bridges.

“I urge my colleagues to work with me to get this done.”