July 08, 2024

Duckworth Reaction to Boeing Agreeing to Plead Guilty to a Criminal Fraud Conspiracy Connected to 2018 and 2019 Deadly 737 MAX Crashes


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — Today, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)—a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (CST) and Chair of the Subcommittee on Aviation Safety, Operations and Innovation—issued the following statement in reaction to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reaching a settlement with Boeing, which will involve Boeing pleading guilty to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge, after hundreds of passengers were killed aboard its 737 MAX aircraft in 2018 and 2019. The settlement comes following the DOJ’s determination that Boeing had failed to comply with an anti-fraud compliance program.

“I’ve long said that Boeing must be accountable for any wrongdoing—including its role in what led to the catastrophic loss of hundreds of people in the 2018 and 2019 MAX crashes,” said Duckworth. “Regardless of the DOJ’s efforts, Congress must not let up on its own oversight of both Boeing and the FAA, and that is something I plan to continue to pursue.”

Earlier this year, Duckworth called on FAA to reject a petition by Boeing for a safety exemption to allow the 737 MAX 7 to be certified to fly despite having another known safety defect that has not yet been fixed. The Senator subsequently met with Boeing’s CEO David Calhoun and urged him to withdraw the company’s petition, which the company did just days later, crediting Duckworth’s reasoning for the decision.

Duckworth helped author the landmark FAA reauthorization that was signed into law in May to extend the FAA’s funding and authorities through Fiscal Year 2028. The reauthorization included several of her provisions to improve consumer safety, expand the aviation workforce and enhance protections for travelers with disabilities. Duckworth noted that while it was a tremendous victory for the flying public, more needs to be done to address the recent issues that have come to light with Boeing since a door plug blew out of an Alaska Airlines flight mid-flight.