Biden nominee to lead FAA withdraws amid GOP opposition
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Airport CEO Phil Washington, President Biden's nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), has withdrawn his nomination amid Republican opposition.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- Reuters first reported the news that Washington had withdrawn his nomination.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.
- The agency has faced a series of challenges in recent months, including spates of flight cancellations and delays that have frustrated travelers, as well as several narrowly averted catastrophes.
- This is the second time this month that a nominee has failed to advance out of the Commerce Committee, after Gigi Sohn withdrew her name for an open seat on the Federal Communications Commission.