Sen. Cruz: “Phil Washington Is Objectively, Indisputably Unqualified To Lead the FAA”

March 21, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) took to the Senate floor to deliver a speech in opposition to the nomination of Phil Washington to serve as Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

WATCH: “Phil Washington Is Objectively, Indisputably Unqualified To Lead the FAA”


Key excerpts of Sen. Cruz’s floor speech are included below:

“The FAA has been in the news far too often lately—from the software meltdown of a crucial safety system in January that resulted in the first U.S. ground-stop of aircraft since 9/11 to recent numerous near-misses of airliners on runways.

“These incidents are a stark reminder of why it’s essential to have an FAA Administrator with decades of deep and real aviation experience, especially in aviation safety. After all, the FAA’s primary mission is to keep the flying public safe. This mission is so important Congress has explicitly mandated by statute that the FAA Administrator must “have experience in a field directly related to aviation. This is not a patronage job, this is an aviation safety job.”

“It is frankly irresponsible to entrust the role of protecting millions of Americans who fly in the hands of a person who needs on-the-job training. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what we have with President Biden’s FAA nominee, Phil Washington.

“I’m disappointed the Biden White House decided to treat a critical safety position as a political spoils system to reward a political ally, rather than to ensure an experienced safety professional to keep us all safe. As a result of the Biden White House playing politics with the flying public’s safety, the FAA has lacked Senate-confirmed leadership for a year now.

“Phil Washington is objectively, indisputably unqualified to lead the FAA.”