WASHINGTON — The nation's top vehicle safety agency is another step closer to having a permanent head — something that safety advocates say is urgently needed and long overdue.
The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation last week advanced President Joe Biden's pick Steven Cliff to lead NHTSA, sending his nomination to the Senate floor for a vote. That vote, as of press time, was not yet scheduled.
"We need a permanent leader in place," Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., chair of the committee, said during the markup.
Cliff is currently the agency's deputy administrator — a role he has held since shortly after Biden was inaugurated in 2021. NHTSA hasn't had a Senate-confirmed administrator since Mark Rosekind, who resigned in 2017 when the Trump administration took over.