By Ralph Nader
The House Transportation Committee report documented serious past failures and cover-ups relating to the Boeing 737 MAX disasters. The report did not address the imminent question of returning the 737 MAX to service. Such a return should never happen without addressing and fixing the basic aerodynamic instabilities that rendered it unairworthy.
The next step, according to the Committee, is to release proposed legislation for regulatory reform and Boeing’s accountability. Over at the Senate, Chairman Roger Wicker has no bill (it was withdrawn) and no report. Boeing owns the Republican-dominated Senate under Mitch McConnell as well as the Department of Transportation run by Secretary Elaine Chao – McConnell’s spouse. Chances for legislation this year are very slim. No wonder Boeing stock went up today, in spite of a devastating report on Boeing’s failings and cover-ups. It has been over 18 months since the second Boeing 737 MAX crash in Ethiopia. Congress is in a historic slow-motion phase of its history. It is up to the air travelers, the airline unions, the families of Boeing’s victims, the consumer groups (such as Flyer Rights and Consumers Union), and the media to keep the spotlight and the pressure on Congress and the FAA.