Sen. Jim DeMint is lifting his hold on an FAA nominee. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The South Carolina Republican had put a hold on Huerta last summer, reasoning that Republicans shouldn’t appoint anyone to the five-year position before the outcome of the presidential election was known. If GOP candidate Mitt Romney had won, Huerta could have served through his first term. But now that President Obama has been reelected, DeMint has withdrawn the nominee’s roadblock.

Huerta has served as the acting chief at FAA since the former agency head, Randy Babbitt, resigned following a drunken-driving arrest. The charges were later dropped against Babbitt.

Huerta’s nomination was approved by a Senate committee in July, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid now hopes to add the nomination to a package that could clear the full Senate sometime before the end of the session, a spokesman says.