Speaking to reporters at the White House Monday afternoon, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre continued to defend the qualifications of Biden's failed nominee -- Phil Washington - to head the Federal Aviation Administration.
"FAA needs a confirmed administrator. Period. That's what they need. That's what they need and what the country deserves. Phil Washington had the right qualifications and experience for this role," Jean-Pierre said. "There were games that were played and an onslaught of Republican attacks."
Over the weekend Washington's nomination was pulled after it became clear he would not get enough votes from Democrats in the U.S. Senate to hold the position.
The FAA needs a confirmed Administrator, and Phil Washington’s transportation & military experience made him an excellent nominee. The partisan attacks and procedural obstruction he has faced are undeserved, but I respect his decision to withdraw and am grateful for his service.— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) March 26, 2023
Washington's nomination became doomed after he botched a series of basic questions about air safety under questioning from Republican Senator Ted Budd during his confirmation hearing earlier this month.
I asked Biden's nominee for FAA Administrator 7 basic questions about aviation policy.— Senator Ted Budd (@SenTedBuddNC) March 1, 2023
He went 0 for 7.
We can't have an FAA Administrator who needs on the job training. @SenateCommerce pic.twitter.com/nzGiEUxr8w
Despite White House claims Republicans sank the nomination, Democrats could have voted to push Washington through without a single GOP vote. Washington bailed out knowing he couldn't shore up Democratic support.