GOP AGs warn Biden admin of ‘catastrophic’ consequences of FAA pushing DEI over merit based hiring

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FIRST ON FOX: A group of almost a dozen attorneys general across the United States have sent a letter to the Biden administration warning that DEI hiring practices within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are putting airline passengers in danger.

“We are troubled by some recent reports regarding your agency’s hiring practices and priorities,” Kansas Republican AG Kris Kobach and 10 other attorneys general wrote to FAA Administrator Michael Whitaker. “It seems that the FAA has placed ‘diversity’ bean counting over safety and expertise, and we worry that such misordered priorities could be catastrophic for American travelers.”

According to the letter, the FAA under the Biden administration “appears to prioritize virtue-signaling ‘diversity’ efforts over aviation expertise” and “this calls into question the agency’s commitment to safety.”

Kobach and the other attorneys general allege that the FAA is no longer focusing on merit when hiring employees and has instead put its focus on diversity and pointed to statements made by the FAA related to a “five year strategic plan” to “diversify its workforce by rethinking its hiring practices and capitalize on opportunities to hire people who will bring new and diverse skills to the agency and reflect the demographics of the U.S. labor force.”

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg looks on as President Joe Biden speaks at an announcement of new airline regulations in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus  (Getty Images)

“These efforts follow on work that reportedly started under the Obama Administration when the agency shockingly sought out applicants with ‘severe intellectual’ and ‘psychiatric’ disabilities to staff the agency responsible for air traffic control, aviation safety, major airports, commercial space regulation, and security and hazardous materials safety,” the letter states.

Fox News Digital has previously reported on the FAA’s recent push to hire workers with ‘severe intellectual’ disabilities, which sparked concern and mockery from many. 

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Federal Aviation Administration Sign

A Federal Aviation Administration sign hangs in the tower at John F. Kennedy International Airport (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

The letter also pointed to a recent “Year of Inclusion” symposium where employees were subjected to racial sensitivity training and said the agency has been pushing forward with racial trainings despite previously acknowledging that “[t]here is a trade-off between diversity…and predicted job performance/outcomes.”

The letter explains that “failure is not an option” when it comes to protecting the 45,000 fights filled with 2.9 million people that fly across the United States each day. 

The letter argues that the FAA “must return to prioritizing safety over diversity and virtue signaling” and “should once again hire based on merit so that only the most qualified aviation experts take care of America’s air travel.”

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President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden speaks during the annual Tribal Nations Summit at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC, US, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2023. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“Given the recent FAA failure that delayed thousands of flights last January and the recent spike in near aircraft collisions, I am very worried that the FAA has lost sight of its primary goal — ensuring the safety of American skies,” Kansas Republican Attorney General Kris Kobach told Fox News Digital. 

“American lives depend on the FAA hiring the most qualified aviation experts.”

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In addition to Kobach, the letter was signed by Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin,  Idaho Attorney General Raúl Labrador, Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird, Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch, Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

The FAA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

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