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Tipsheet

Biden’s FAA Nominee Withdraws After Botching Confirmation Testimony

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Yet another nominee of President Joe Biden's — in this case Phil Washington who was put forward to become the next administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) — has been forced to withdraw his name from consideration after failing to convince United States senators that he was up for the job. Now, the Biden administration is back to square one trying to fill the critical post.

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DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg tweeted late Saturday night he respected Washington's "decision to withdraw" along with the Biden administration's usual refusal to accept accountability for putting forward a nominee who had no business leading the FAA. 

Washington, as Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) pointed out previously, has no aviation experience. Cruz called out Biden for "playing politics" with Washington's nomination, saying that the FAA administrator post, "quite simply, is a position he is not qualified for." Those concerns were echoed by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) who said Washington was the "wrong choice to lead the FAA and restore America's confidence in this struggling agency."

Rather than acknowledging reality and admitting that someone with aviation safety experience would be better qualified to lead the FAA, Buttigieg insisted that Washington remained "an excellent nominee" and blamed allegedly "undeserved" hurdles including "partisan attacks and procedural obstruction."

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Buttigieg's framing was happily echoed by mainstream outlets, including Politico, which framed the situation with a headline saying "Biden's FAA nominee bows out, after senators waver." National Public Radio (NPR) ran The Associated Press' dispatch headlined "President Biden's nominee to head the FAA has withdrawn after Republican criticism."

Ah, yes. It wasn't that Washington botched his testimony and failed to answer questions about the basic principles of flight and couldn't demonstrate an understanding of FAA safety regulations — regulations he would have been responsible for enforcing if confirmed. Instead, according to the Biden administration and mainstream media, it was those darn Republicans who dared to insist the person leading the FAA be qualified to restore confidence in the FAA and keep America's civil air transportation system running safely.

But, contrary to what you'll hear from the mainstream media, the latest dead-end Biden nomination was sunk by Washington himself, a man who couldn't even wager a guess about why an airplane stalls.

As Townhall warned in early March, Washington showed himself unable to answer a single question about aviation during his testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee, most damningly when Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) — a pilot himself — asked seven questions about flight, FAA regulations, and air safety — questions that most anyone with basic aviation experience could answer — that completely stumped Biden's nominee to lead the FAA.

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Hopefully, President Biden will put forward a better, qualified nominee to lead the FAA soon so the agency can get to work ironing out issues that have plagued the agency in recent months, including a nationwide NOTAM outage that grounded flights. But this is the Biden administration, and there's no guarantee Biden's next pick will be any better. 

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