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Biden's pick to lead FAA faces stormy confirmation hearing

President Joe Biden’s pick to run the Federal Aviation Administration is finally getting a chance to make the case for his stalled nomination

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Senate FAA Nominee

Phillip Washington, the nominee to become administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, testifies before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, March 1, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

President Joe Biden's pick to run the Federal Aviation Administration finally got a hearing Wednesday on his nomination, with Democrats praising him as a skilled leader of large transportation bureaucracies while Republicans called him unqualified because of his relatively thin aviation experience.

If confirmed by the Senate, Phillip Washington would take over an agency dealing with safety concerns including several recent close calls between planes, understaffing that has contributed to flight delays, and the breakdown of a pilot-alert system that briefly stopped flights nationwide in January.

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