A powerful coalition of businesses recently sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging action from his administration and the U.S. Senate to fill vacant commissioner positions at an obscure yet powerful federal agency known as the Surface Transportation Board (STB). An independent agency tasked with oversight of the business dealings of freight railroads and their customers, the STB has been shorthanded since 2015, a predicament that has halted action on a handful of proposals calling for a return to regulations that once nearly bankrupted the rail industry.

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