GOP pilots in Congress are calling on Biden to withdraw his ‘completely unqualified’ FAA nomination


Fourteen Republican lawmakers who hold their pilot’s licenses are calling on President Biden to withdraw his nominee to run the Federal Aviation Administration because he has “zero aviation experience.”

“While Mr. Washington served our nation with honor in the Army, he did not serve in an aviation unit,” lawmakers wrote in a letter to Biden Thursday. “He is not a pilot, has zero flight safety experience and is totally unqualified to run the federal agency responsible for keeping the flying public safe.”

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Denver International Airport chief executive officer Phil Washington was grilled March 1 by Republican senators concerned about his lack of aviation experience. Photographer: Nathan Howard/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Noting that federal law requires the FAA administrator “to have experience in an area directly related to aviation,” Republicans said Biden’s nominee, Phil Washington, is not making the cut.

“The FAA cannot afford to be led by anyone who needs on-the-job training, especially at a time when our aviation system is facing tremendous safety challenges such as: “B. several airline near misses and the first nationwide ground stop of planes since 9/11,” they wrote.

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The pilot lawmaker called on Biden to withdraw his

The pilot lawmaker called on Biden to withdraw his “unqualified” candidate for leadership of the FAA. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The signers of the letter said they had logged thousands of flight hours together, including some for the military. But they said Washington “never flew an airplane, never worked for an airline or an airplane manufacturer, and never served as an air traffic controller.”

“His aviation experience is limited to having worked at Denver Airport for less than two years,” they wrote, referring to his current role as CEO of Denver International Airport. “In this role, Mr. Washington is primarily responsible for non-aviation matters such as the airport’s shops, restaurants, parking lots and buildings.”

The letter was signed by Sens. Ted Budd of North Carolina and Mike Rounds of South Dakota along with 12 “conventional aviators.”

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Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, said he doesn't think Washington will have the votes to be confirmed as the new FAA chief.  Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican from Texas, said he doesn’t think Washington will have the votes to be confirmed as the new FAA chief. Photographer: Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images (Eric Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Washington’s lack of experience in the airline industry led to harsh questioning from Republicans on the Senate Commerce Committee. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, urged senators to investigate his background further, calling Washington “woefully unqualified.”

Cruz predicted last week that Washington would struggle to win the votes for confirmation.

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The Senate Commerce Committee is scheduled to vote on Washington’s confirmation next week. A successful vote there would send the nomination to the Senate.



Source : www.foxnews.com

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