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The Vote on Joe Biden’s FAA Nominee Postponed by Senate Committee

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President Joe Biden’s pick to head the Federal Aviation Administration is in jeopardy. On Wednesday, a Democratic-led Senate committee delayed a crucial vote on his appointment. This was amid opposition from the Republican party and uncertainty over Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s position.

On July 6, 2022, President Joe Biden announced Philip Washington’s nomination. Since then, he has faced stiff resistance from Republican members of Congress on several issues. This includes his slim aviation-related credentials and his potential legal issues.

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The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation had planned to hold a vote on Wednesday to move the nomination forward. However, Washington Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell, the committee chairwoman, said the vote was moving to a future date. She also said this is pending information that members have been seeking. Cantwell said the committee would have the debate in the future, stating that Washington is qualified for the job. 

In response to Cantwell’s comments, a Republican Senate aide said Joe Biden’s nominee was pulled because the Democrats do not have the votes to report him out of the committee. The GOP aide also said Washington’s nomination is on life support because Republicans oppose his leadership.

While the Democrats on the committee said Washington has their support for the role, his future depends on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema. After his nomination stalled out in the Senate committee, an aide to the senator said her office would not preview how the senator would vote. 

On Wednesday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said he was glad that the committee was considering the nomination delay. The leading Republican on the Senate Commerce Committee also said that Phil Washington had been before the committee for a while. Sen. Ted Cruz said that every committee member knew that Washington was not qualified for the position.