Mar 26, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Biden nominee to lead FAA withdraws amid GOP opposition

Phil Washington

Phil Washington during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee nomination hearing on March 1. Photo: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Denver International Airport CEO Phil Washington, President Biden's nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has withdrawn his nomination amid Republican opposition.

Driving the news: Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called Washington an "excellent nominee" and condemned the "undeserved" partisan attacks against him in a tweet confirming the news Saturday night.

  • "I respect his decision to withdraw and am grateful for his service," Buttigieg added.

State of play: Last week a scheduled Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee confirmation vote was scuttled after after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) raised last-minute questions about the nominee, Axios' Hans Nichols writes.

  • Republicans have repeatedly called Washington "unqualified,'' claiming he lacks specific aviation experience.
  • Reuters first reported the news that Washington had withdrawn his nomination.

The big picture: The FAA has been without a permanent leader since March 2022.

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