Biden Selection for Federal Aviation Administration Met With Strong Criticism from Republicans

( – President Biden’s nominee for leadership of the Federal Aviation Administration has been met with strong criticism, and was faced with a “stormy confirmation hearing,” The Seattle Times reported. The nomination hearing was held by the Senate on March 1, USA Today reported.

Biden’s top pick is Phillip Washington, a former transit official and the current CEO of Denver International Airport, a position he has held since July 2021.

Democrats “sung the praises” of Washington, saying that he was a “skilled leader” of major transportation bureaucracies, Fortune magazine reported. Washington has pledged that, if appointed, he would help to reform the FAA and leave it “better than he found it.” The FAA has had many recent incidents that have diminished the American people’s confidence in the agency, including reportedly close calls between planes, an understaffing problem that has led to serious flight delays, and the breakdown of the pilot-alert system that stopped flights nationwide temporarily in January. Washington claimed that safety would be his “top priority” if nominated to the position.

Strong criticism came from Republicans over Biden’s nomination. Senator Roger Wicker, (R. Miss.) said that Washington is “the wrong choice” and argued that he was not a good selection to restore the nation’s confidence in the failing Federal Aviation Administration.

Critics of Washington expressed reservations about his candidacy as the FAA lead due to a corruption investigation he is involved in over dealings within the Los Angeles transit agency, which Washington held leadership over for six years.

In addition to Wicker’s remarks, Senator Ted Cruz (R. Texas) said that Washington is “not qualified” for the job of FAA leader, and claimed that the Biden administration was treating the FAA nomination as “patronage” and was “playing politics,” with the position, Fox Business reported.

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