Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

Biden renominates stalled picks for key administration posts

Biden renominates stalled picks for key administration posts

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday renominated a number of stalled picks for a slate of federal posts including nominees to head the Internal Revenue Service, Federal Aviation Administration, ambassador to India and a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) member, the White House said.
The selections did not get approved by the U.S. Senate which was split 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking ties. The new Senate convened on Tuesday.

Democrats since January 2021 have been unable to command a majority of the five-member FCC, the telecommunications regulator, preventing them from moving forward on some key priorities including reinstating landmark net neutrality rules revoked under former President Donald Trump.

Biden nominated Democrat Gigi Sohn, a former senior aide to Tom Wheeler when he was chair of the FCC under President Barack Obama, to fill the key fifth seat in October 2021.

The FAA has been without a permanent administrator since March 31. The Senate Commerce Committee has yet to hold a hearing on Biden's pick to head the FAA, Denver International Airport Chief Executive Phil Washington. Washington had faced criticism from Republicans after he was named in a search warrant tying him to corruption allegations at the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Washington, a former CEO of the Los Angeles public transport system, has denied wrongdoing.

The FAA's top aviation safety official, Billy Nolen, has been running the agency on an interim basis.

Biden is also renominating Eric Garcetti to serve as ambassador to India.

Garcetti, who was Los Angeles mayor from 2013 until a term limit pushed him from office last year, is close to Biden and co-chaired his 2020 presidential campaign.

But his nomination was stalled in the Senate as even some Democrats expressed concern about allegations that he ignored complaints about sexual harassment and abusive language by some of his political allies. Garcetti has denied wrongdoing.

Biden also renominated Dilawar Syed to be deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration after Republicans last year held up a vote due to the nominee’s association with an advocacy group that has been critical of Israel.

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