Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on Wednesday stated that President Biden’s nominee to function the following chief of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) isn’t certified for the location.
During a Senate Commerce committee affirmation listening to, Cruz cited a necessity for the following FAA administrator to have “decades of experience in aviation” and stated that the nominee earlier than the committee, Phil Washington, lacks the vital enjoy.
“The nominee before us, Phil Washington, had a long and honorable career in the military. But he does not have any experience in aviation safety,” Cruz stated. “This, quite simply, is a position he is not qualified for.”
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Washington is recently the CEO of Denver International Airport (DIA). He was once first nominated via Biden closing 12 months, however he didn’t advance amid issues from Republicans about his enjoy. His affirmation has been additional stalled via allegations of discriminatory and retaliatory practices via Washington at DIA and his involvement with a corruption investigation at LA Metro.
Washington was once CEO at LA Metro, which is being investigated after it awarded a dear contract for a sexual harassment hotline – the hotline was once discovered to value over $8,000 in keeping with name it won – that was once awarded to a charity run via a detailed good friend of an LA Metro board member. Washington has denied wrongdoing, however Cruz has known as at the Senate to continue slowly together with his nomination in mild of those allegations and different whistleblower claims of misconduct.
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In his opening remarks Wednesday, Cruz slammed Biden’s selection of Washington to steer the FAA, accusing the White House of treating the location “as a patronage job” and “playing politics with the flying public’s safety.”
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He asserted that Washington’s earlier control of town transit companies is characterised via “mismanagement and wasteful spending.” He referenced information reviews about Washington’s try to set up a $200,000 sauna to the LA Metro’s worker health club, in addition to his reported “lavish spending” as town buses “broke down and caught fire due to lack of money.”
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“The New York Times reported that a Denver rail project overseen by Mr. Washington ran up a $2 billion plus deficit and has become over 30 years behind schedule. Just last month, Mr. Washington, another Denver official spent more than $100,000 on a junket to Africa to drum up support to Denver’s airport,” Cruz stated. “Government waste and delayed over budget projects are things we want to change at the FAA, not continue.”
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Cruz additionally closely criticized Washington’s range, fairness and inclusion projects at LA Metro and DIA.
“Safety, not political posturing, needs to be paramount af the FAA,” Cruz stated.
Fox News’ Brianna Herlihy and Tyler Olson contributed to this file.