House Transportation Committee chairman threatens to subpoena Boeing, FAA communication

House Transportation Committee chairman threatens to subpoena Boeing, FAA communication
© Victoria Sarno Jordan

The chairman of the House Transportation Committee said Wednesday that his panel will serve Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with subpoenas if necessary to obtain documents related to the certification of Boeing's 737 Max aircraft.

Rep. Peter DeFazioPeter Anthony DeFazioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Pelosi accuses Trump of 'bribery' in Ukraine dealings Democratic chairman presses Transportation secretary over transparency in Boeing 737 Max probe Democratic lawmaker asks for probe of reports Chao favored Kentucky officials MORE (D-Ore.) told The New York Times that a second fatal crash involving the aircraft in fewer than six months warranted a congressional investigation. The aircraft was involved in a fatal crash on Sunday shortly after taking off from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, killing all 157 people on board.


“This warrants vigorous investigation,” DeFazio told the Times. “We’re going to get anything in writing there is to get.”

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP divided over impeachment trial strategy Official testifies that Bolton had 'one-on-one meeting' with Trump over Ukraine aid Louisiana governor wins re-election MORE joined a chorus of officials in other countries on Wednesday by ordering Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft to be grounded. China was the first major country to ground the jets, while the U.S. became the last in a series of nations, including Canada, Britain and the entire European Union.

The FAA repeatedly declined to ground the aircraft this week, even as a growing number of countries around the world issued similar declarations following Sunday's crash.

“The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern,” Trump told reporters Wednesday, adding that the planes will not fly “until further notice.”

“We didn’t have to make this decision today. We could have delayed it. We maybe didn’t have to make it at all. But I felt it was important both psychologically and in a lot of other ways,” he added.

Acting FAA administrator Daniel Elwell stood by his agency's decision to not ground the planes until Wednesday in a call with reporters, stating that the FAA did not have the evidence required to ground the aircraft until today.

“We take actions based on findings, on data, on risk assessment, and since this accident occurred we were resolute in our position that we would not take action until we had data to support taking action,” he said. “That data coalesced today and we made the call.”