Speed Reads

Boeing controversy

Ted Cruz blasts Boeing in bipartisan challenge during Senate hearing

Boeing was the subject of a rare moment of bipartisanship during a Senate Commerce Committee hearing Tuesday.

Republican and Democratic senators teamed up to grill Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenberg over the company's response to two crashes within the past year in Indonesia and Ethiopia involving malfunctioning flight-control systems on Boeing's 737 MAX plane.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) focused on a text message exchange from 2016 in which a test pilot complained of difficulties he had managing the software system. "How in the hell did nobody bring this to your attention in February when you produced this to the Justice Department?," Cruz asked, referring to Boeing sharing the text messages with the Justice Department earlier this year. "How did you just read this a couple of weeks ago?"

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) told Muilenberg that Boeing "set those pilots up for failure" after doing nothing to address the issues in 2016, while committee Chair Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) said both accidents were "entirely preventable" in his opening statement.

Even Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who is usually a strong supporter of Boeing which has a large presence in her state, was firm with Muilenberg, telling him, "If you want to be the leader" in aviation manufacturing, "you have to be the leader in safety." Read more at The Wall Street Journal.