Following the Federal Aviation Administration’s mass outage of its Notice to Air Missions System last week that grounded all domestic flight departures nationwide, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday he will push to confirm President Joe Biden’s choice to lead the FAA, Phillip Washington, Axios reported.
The New York Democrat said in a statement on Sunday, “There is no doubt about it: It’s time to clear the runway for President Biden’s choice for FAA administrator, Phil Washington. With recent events, including airline troubles and last week’s tech problem, this agency needs a leader confirmed by the Senate immediately.”
Washington, who is currently the CEO of Denver International Airport, was chosen by the president in July to fill the position, but the Senate has not yet held a confirmation hearing for him, Axios reported. The FAA has been without an administrator since March.
A hearing was delayed until the new Congress last year by the Senate Commerce Committee after Republicans on the panel opposed Washington’s nomination, saying that he does not have experience in aviation and that he was named in a criminal search connected to his tenure as as CEO of Los Angeles’ Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Schumer said, “I intend to break this logjam, work to hold a hearing for Mr. Washington, where he can detail his experience and answer questions, and then work towards a speedy Senate confirmation.”
Although a warrant carried out by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has suggested that investigators are looking for information connected to possible favoritism in the way in which the LA Metro awarded contracts, Washington told Bloomberg that “all the allegations are false” and denied any wrongdoing.
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