Politico

Cruz to FAA nominee: 'Be pissed off that 346 people died'

Sen. Ted Cruz this morning told the Trump administration’s nominee for head of the beleaguered Federal Aviation Administration that he needs to be outraged about how many people died in Boeing 737 MAX crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia.

“Bureaucratic inertia is powerful,” Cruz (R-Texas) said at a Senate hearing on the the nomination of former Delta Air Lines executive Steve Dickson. “What I’m asking you to do, if confirmed, is: Be pissed off that 346 people died.”

Cruz said there had been a “serious breakdown in the certification process” and accused the FAA of “agency capture” by Boeing. He warned that easiest thing for Dickson to do as he assumes his new role is to do nothing.

The FAA has come under great scrutiny for taking days to ground the 737 MAX fleet, after almost every other country had already acted to ban the planes from their skies. The agency has also taken heat for whether it is too close to Boeing and was lax overseeing the planes’ certification.

Dickson asked Cruz not to mistake his calm demeanor for satisfaction “or saying that any accident is acceptable — it is not.”

He promised to be “the captain of the ship” and a “steady hand on the tiller” but that “doesn’t mean I’m not going to be asking tough questions.” He committed to Cruz that he would work to “figure out what the hell went wrong.”

Article originally published on POLITICO Magazine

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