Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, is calling on Senate Democrats to delay consideration of President Biden’s nominee to helm the Federal Aviation Administration.
Mr. Cruz said the Senate Commerce Committee should hold off on considering Phil Washington’s nomination for the post amid new accusations of workplace misconduct.
“Mr. Washington’s hearing needs to be delayed until the committee has time to investigate new concerns about his nomination,” said Mr. Cruz, the top Republican on the Commerce Committee, told Fox News.
Mr. Washington, who serves as CEO of the Denver International Airport, has denied wrongdoing. He is scheduled to appear before the Commerce Committee on Wednesday.
A recently filed federal lawsuit by an employee of the Denver airport alleges that under Mr. Washington’s leadership, he was subject to “threats” and “intolerable” working conditions.
The lawsuit was brought forward by an employee of Hispanic descent who says his job was threatened after complaining about pay discrimination and racist comments by a supervisor.
Mr. Cruz says the lawsuit should warrant further investigation of Mr. Washington’s ability to lead the nation’s largest transportation agency.
“Last week, we discovered he failed to disclose to the committee that he’s been named in a new lawsuit alleging discriminatory and retaliatory practices at Denver’s airport,” Mr. Cruz told Fox News Digital.
“He also failed to provide to the Committee more than 18 hours of speeches and remarks as well as details concerning additional lawsuits involving him, all of which staff now must review,” Mr. Cruz said.
Mr. Washington was nominated by the White House for the FAA post in July. His nomination stalled in the then 50-50 Senate amid opposition from Republicans.
GOP lawmakers have raised questions about Mr. Washington’s experience and his workplace conduct.
Mr. Washington was previously named in two other lawsuits alleging general discrimination and whistleblower retaliation during his tenure as CEO of Los Angeles’ Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
His name also appeared in a criminal search warrant issued by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in September 2022 probing charges of favoritism at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Mr. Washington has denied wrongdoing and said the allegations being leveled are false.
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