Congress is on a HILL
From there it sees ALL
Sometimes for GOOD and some NIL
Congress is constitutionally empowered to set the safety parameters for Aviation Safety through enacting the Federal Aviation Act, periodically. Oftentimes, one pauses and remarks, “Wow, what a brilliant idea Senator XYZ or Representative ABC.” Then again, there are too many occasions when Samuel Clemens above quote is more appropriate.
Recent events proved this bimodal distribution within the Members elected to represent us.
Washington, D.C. – Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) and Subcommittee on Aviation Ranking Member Garret Graves (R-LA) have formally requested a Full Committee hearing to receive testimony from senior Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials who were in charge of the agency between 2012 and 2017 when nearly all decisions regarding the certification of the Boeing 737 MAX were made.
They wrote to Chairman DeFazio and Chairman Larsen this week to request the hearing, after Ranking Member Sam Graves first requested the hearing in his opening remarks during an October 30th hearing.
As the Committee majority’s investigation of the 737 MAX certification continues, hearing directly from officials who led the FAA and the FAA’s Aviation Safety and Aircraft Certification Service Offices when the 737 MAX was being certified would give the Committee a much more complete understanding of the FAA’s activities and decisions from that time. Committee hearings thus far have received testimony from current FAA officials, Boeing, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), and other aviation stakeholders.
T&I Democratic Chair agrees to hearing with former FAA officials
Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) said he “wholeheartedly” agrees that T&I needs to hear from FAA leaders involved in the MAX’s certification, and that the committee is working on figuring out its next hearing.
The previous hearing, delving into decisions made about the B-737 Max, 8 had as witnesses an Administrator and Associate Administrator for Aviation Safety who were in the private sector between 2013 and 2017. It makes immense sense to ask questions to those who made those judgment calls. It might also be probative to call the Senators and Representatives who voted to approve of the Organization Delegation Authority which is the source of this debate.
Then on the other hand
…With a congressional impeachment currently ongoing there isn’t really much for the leader of the Senate to do right now, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has found a new way to fill his time. He’s finally found time for one of his favorite activities, complaining about other people.
“I’m a rich white man, so it is in my blood to want to complain and wag my finger at others while paying no attention to my own words and the hypocrisy I create,” McConnell said via a staffer even though we were standing right there and could hear McConnell tell the staffer to tell us that.
“My hands are pretty tied right now, which is why I have this twerp taking dictation,” said McConnell via an aide with a doctorate in game theory from M.I.T.
“I mean, would you find it fair?” asked one of McConnell’s staffers who told us his name but he was so boring we forgot to write it down. “Would you find it fair that one candidate can zip through the clouds, land and walk around in aviator sunglasses while the other candidate’s face is too flat to support anything other than these paper-thin clear John Lennon glasses?”
McConnell continued, “this is just doing what’s fair. For instance, would it be fair for Superman to fight another superhero and use his power of flight when his opponent, say an out of shape, octogenarian ninja turtle, wasn’t allowed to fly?”
“How about we Free Mitch McConnell ever think of that?!” asked McConnell as he continued to follow us to the cafeteria even though he said he didn’t care about us.
“I think that’s exactly what we’re trying to do sir,” said Jones, McGrath, and Adkins before continuing to eat their chicken wings with alleged Governor Andy Beshear.
Why does this request that the FAA ground Ms. McGrath, the first female Marine Corps pilot to fly the F/A-18 on a combat mission and who flew 89 combat missions bombing al-Qaeda and the Taliban, to be grounded by the FAA get the Mark Twain redundancy award?
The Senator’s wife, Elaine Chao, is the Secretary of Transportation. One of her direct reports is the FAA Administrator and if Ms. McGrath’s flying license was altered in any way, the political hue and cry would be heard inside the Beltway and BEYOND.
It is a tough job and they do try. Make mental notes of the smart ideas that come from Capitol Hill and another list of the not-so-smart ones. Remember the names when the elections come around. If you do not act based on politicians’ aviation actions, then you can blame yourself.
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