The report was released on the same day that the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation is scheduled to take up a bill introduced by Commerce Chairman Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and ranking member Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that would overhaul the FAA’s aircraft certification process by, in part, giving the agency authority to hire or remove Boeing employees tasked with FAA certification duties.
Ranking member Sam Graves, R-Mo., and Aviation Subcommittee ranking member Garret Graves, R-La., said they will listen to nonpartisan reports and investigations as they work to address the accidents but said the Democratic staff’s investigation “began by concluding that our system was broken and worked backwards from there.”
“We continue to focus squarely on the nonpartisan reports and investigations and the improvements they have identified, and none of them have concluded that the U.S. certification system is fundamentally broken or in need of wholesale reform,” they said.
Still, DeFazio on Tuesday said he is working with Republicans to craft legislation responding to the report’s findings. He said the legislation would examine an FAA process that allows Boeing employees to certify parts of its aircraft, but he does not plan to “scrap” the process altogether.
The 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019, and Chicago-based Boeing, which faces lawsuits and a criminal investigation, has reeled in the aftermath of the crisis, which has been worsened by the steep drop in airline ridership caused by the coronavirus pandemic.