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Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The House Transportation Committee on Wednesday released a scathing report, highlighting "repeated and serious failures" by Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration that preceded two deadly 737 MAX jet crashes in 2018 and 2019.

The big picture: The 239-page report says the crashes, which killed 346 people, were the result of a "horrific culmination" of poor technical assumptions by Boeing’s engineers, a lack of transparency by Boeing’s management and insufficient oversight by the FAA.

The report's findings:

FAA management overruled the conclusions of their own technical experts "at the behest of Boeing."

  • This was consistent with a recent survey in which FAA employees said they believed management was more concerned with helping the aviation industry achieve its goals.
  • The FAA's oversight structure for Boeing created "inherent conflicts of interest that have jeopardized the safety of the flying public," pointing to instances in which Boeing employees who work on behalf of the FAA didn't alert the agency about potential certification and safety issues.

Production pressures at Boeing to compete with its European counterpart Airbus led to "extensive efforts to cut costs, maintain the 737 MAX program schedule, and avoid slowing the 737 MAX production line."

  • Boeing made "faulty assumptions" about the plane's MCAS software, designed to push the nose of the plane down in certain conditions given the plane's structural changes from a traditional 737. Many pilots worldwide weren't aware of the system.
  • Boeing also "withheld crucial information from the FAA, its customers, and 737 MAX pilots," including about the MCAS software.

The bottom line: "The fact that a compliant airplane suffered from two deadly crashes in less than five months is clear evidence that the current regulatory system is fundamentally flawed and needs to be repaired," the report concluded.

Read the report.

Go deeper: Everything you need to know about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes

Go deeper

Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump's Air Force One problem

Boeing model of what the new Air Force One 747s will look like if Biden chooses to keep the current color scheme. Illustration courtesy of Boeing.

One of President Trump's favorite items on display in the Oval Office has been a model of Boeing's Air Force One revamp that swaps Jackie Kennedy's iconic light blue design for Trump's preferred look: a white top and dark blue bottom set off with a red stripe.

What he's saying: "Isn't it beautiful? Now it's actually patriotic," Trump has told visiting foreign leaders and other visitors, according to a person he's shown it to.

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.