President Joe Biden’s choice to run the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has withdrawn his nomination, a setback for the administration as Denver International Airport CEO Phillip Washington appeared to lack enough support in the Senate, David Koenig and Seung Min Kim reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Photo Insert: Phillip A. Washington served as CEO of the Los Angeles Metro and headed President Joe Biden's transportation transition team.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed Washington’s withdrawal in a tweet Saturday night, calling him “an excellent nominee” and blaming undeserved and partisan attacks.
Republicans were united in opposition to Washington, calling him unqualified because of limited aviation experience. Democrats and allied independents still might have pushed the nomination but key senators on their side balked at supporting Biden’s pick.
Washington’s fate appeared settled when Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., abruptly called off a scheduled vote last Wednesday — a sign that she lacked enough votes to move the nomination out of committee.
She said some senators wanted more information about Washington.