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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 TrumpUSAID administrator tests positive for COVID-19 Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams among nominees for Time magazine's 2020 Person of the Year DOJ appeals ruling preventing it from replacing Trump in E. Jean Carroll defamation lawsuit 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 CantwellTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Esper reportedly working with lawmakers to strip Confederate names from bases | Enemy attacks in Afghanistan jump by 50 percent, watchdog says | Fort Hood soldier arrested, charged in Chelsea Cheatham killing 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 WickerGOP lawmaker patience runs thin with Trump tactics Republicans start turning the page on Trump era The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by Facebook - Trump, Biden blitz battleground states 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.