Congressional authority questioned as the Boeing 737 Max 8grounded
By Caleb Wright
RALEIGH—As the issue persists surrounding the technical safety of Boeing’s 737 Max 8 after the crash months ago, followed by the recent crash in Africa posed by technical problems which led to the subsequent grounding of the aircraft by the FAA (without Congress), one question remains unasked:how much power does Congress have?
Boeing’s (BA, DOW Jones -11.59% 5D) offices were likely hotheaded in Chicago this week as the news mounted quickly of the possibilities that the two consecutive crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8 in months, one in Indonesia and another on Sunday in East Africa, are related to technical problems surrounding the plane. Boeing’s stock subsequently fell in speculative “overdrive” selling, closing out today with a five-day loss of 11.59%. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), responsible for the regulation of such aircraft and the travel coordination associated with each of the planes in the USA, initially announced on Monday that evidence surrounding the technical claims behind the aircrafts’ respective peril is likely yet to be conclusive enough for a grounding. This announcement infuriated members of Congress, seeing as several nations have already acted on this issue, yet some members called for support of this announcement as the black-box footage of the crash is awaiting to be thoroughly reviewed. The black boxes were sentto France on Thursday.
Article 1, Section 8, of the United States Constitution grants the Congress of the United States the very broad, almost tyrannically-defined power to “regulate commerce”; however, since the growth of the Administrative State (or “deep state”) in the 20th century, the Congress, with all of their other expressly-granted powers, has waived their attention and direction of their authorities behind these powers over to the Executive Branch. Easily interpreted as being lazy enough to abandon their responsibilities, Congress has transferred their lawmaking power to an unaccountable and unelected bureaucratic state.
This problem is unveiled when the numerous pleas from members of both chambers for the FAA to either ground or halt the grounding (to await more black box evidence) of the Boeing 737 Max 8 are cried almost in vain.
The Administrative state, which is almost unchecked, can pass actions that have the full force of law without approval by Congress. Such actions take as little as one board vote; in some cases, they take as little as a notice sent out by a few lawyers in the Offices of Chief Council for certain administrations. It can be concluded that it is easier to just have the executive branch pass these regulatory measures rather than go through the exhaustive legislative procedures in Congress, despite the notion that these procedures belong to, and should be conducted by, the latter.
After this whole cluster of debate has occurred, how much power does Congress really have? Anyone following recent news can find the struggles that both sides of both chambers are enduring to curtail excessive executive powers, such as the National Emergency declaration for the wall on the southern border and the subsequent bipartisan acts in response. Now, the American people have yet another example of Congress being unwilling to act upon the powers expressly prescribed to them, but are ever so-willing to talk about it.