Phil Washington has withdrawn from the nomination to become the FAA Administrator, blaming an “onslaught of unfounded Republican attacks” concerning his qualifications, his military connections and his link to a corruption investigation in Los Angeles where he led the city’s transit system. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed the move, first reported by Reuters, late Saturday.
“The FAA needs a confirmed Administrator, and Phil Washington’s transportation & military experience made him an excellent nominee,” Buttigieg said in a tweet. “The partisan attacks and procedural obstruction he has faced are undeserved, but I respect his decision to withdraw and am grateful for his service.” During a Senate confirmation hearing, Washington was grilled by GOP senators on his aviation knowledge and relative lack of experience in the industry. His status as a retired Army officer was also raised, as the position must be filled by a civilian.