Fuchs has served as a senior staffer on the Senate Commerce Committee since January 2015 and helped draft and facilitate passage of the 2015 STB Reauthorization Act, the first reauthorization of the board since its inception in 1996. Prior to that, he was with the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Oberman, a Democrat, was most recently chairman of Chicago Metra, a commuter rail service.
The Senate, however, did not act on the nomination of Republican Michelle Schultz to the STB, which was opposed in December by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Schultz is deputy general counsel to the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA).
The Rail Customer Coalition praised the Senate for confirming Fuchs and Oberman, stating that “the long-standing vacancies at the board have severely hampered the STB’s ability to address ongoing freight rail issues and advance overdue regulatory reforms.”
Ian Jefferies, president and CEO of the Association of American Railroads, said in a statement. “We are confident that these new STB commissioners will govern sensibly and be driven by sound economic principles.
“We hope that after careful review of pending proposals that the board forgoes measures that limit the rail industry’s ability to invest for the future,” Jefferies said.
Ann Begeman currently serves as STB chairman. Deb Miller had, until Dec. 31, served as vice chairman in a "hold-over" year, but did not get re-nominated. STB board members serve for five-year terms. Once the two new members are sworn in, three of the five STB board seats will be filled.
The STB is an independent regulatory agency with responsibility to resolve railroad rate and service disputes and review proposed railroad mergers. It was established in 1996 after the termination of the Interstate Commerce Commission.