FAA nominee advances to full Senate vote

FAA nominee advances to full Senate vote

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted Wednesday to advance President TrumpDonald John TrumpFed saw risks to US economy fading before coronavirus spread quickened Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Britain announces immigration policy barring unskilled migrants MORE's nominee to lead the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), former Delta executive Stephen Dickson, to a vote before the full Senate. 

The committee vote was 14-12 along party lines and came as Democrats raised concerns about Dickson.

Sen. Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellThree lessons from BIPA for data privacy legislation Swing votes steal spotlight in marathon Trump impeachment Q&A Hillicon Valley: UK allows Huawei to build 5G in blow to Trump | Lawmakers warn decision threatens intel sharing | Work on privacy bill inches forward | Facebook restricts travel to China amid virus MORE (Wash.), the committee's top Democrat, said that Dickson was involved in alleged retaliation against a Delta pilot who brought up safety concerns. 

She said that the pilot was made to see a psychiatrist who declared her manic and removed her from flying after she allegedly told Delta about issues with automation and pilot training.

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Cantwell said that a congressional investigation found that Dickson "did know, was involved with this pilot, did know what was happening, and failed to disclose it to this committee.”

Chairman Roger WickerRoger Frederick WickerThe Hill's Morning Report - Sanders repeats with NH primary win, but with narrower victory Senators press NCAA on compensation for college athletes Overnight Defense: Inside Trump's 4B Pentagon budget | Highlights include .4B for Space Force, preview of Air Force One paint job | Senate eyes Wednesday debate on Iran war powers | 109 US troops diagnosed with brain injuries from attack MORE (R-Miss.), however, praised Dickson's Air Force service and his experience at Delta. 

“He will bring commitment, experience and expertise necessary to lead the FAA,” he said, adding that Dixon was never accused of retaliation during his tenure at Delta.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a vote to confirm Dickson by the full Senate had not been scheduled. 

The FAA has faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks due to its past approval of Boeing 737 Max planes. In the last year, two such planes have crashed in other countries, resulting in 346 deaths.

The U.S. and other countries have grounded the planes.