The Senate confirmed a batch of nominees for top federal positions, including officials to fill several key posts at the Dept. of Transportation and a new head for the Interior Dept.'s Bureau of Reclamation.

Those confirmed on May 21, just before the start of the Memorial Day recess, include former Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari, who was approved to be deputy secretary of U.S. DOT. Porcari served two terms as head of Maryland DOT, both times under Democratic governors--from 1999 to 2003 and from 2007 until he is sworn in to his new federal job.

Peter M. Rogoff, a 22-year-veteran staffer on the Senate transportation appropriations subcommittee, was confirmed to be the head of the Federal Transit Administration. During the last 14 years, Rogoff was Democratic staff director on the subcommittee.

In another senior DOT position, the Senate confirmed J. Randolph Babbitt to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. Babbitt is a former president and CEO of the Air Line Pilots Association and more recently has been an aviation consultant.

Also approved on May 21 was Michael L. Connor as Commissioner of Regclamation. Connor had been counsel to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee since 2001. Before that, he served eight years at Interior, the last three years as director of the secretary's Indian water rights office.