National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization
2167 Rayburn House Office Building and online via videoconferencing
This is a hearing of the full Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Opening remarks, as prepared, of Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO):
Thank you, Chair DeFazio, and thank you to our witness, National Transportation Safety Board Chair Jennifer Homendy.
The NTSB plays an important role in ensuring safety across all modes of transportation. The Committee is aware of the NTSB’s reauthorization proposal and appreciates today’s opportunity to discuss it with the Chair.
The Board was last reauthorized with the Federal Aviation Administration in 2018, where we made important improvements to the agency’s organization, how the agency conducts investigations, and the kind of information provided to Congress in the agency’s annual report and Most Wanted List.
As the Committee considers the agency’s reauthorization proposal, we should also be looking at how the NTSB has implemented the various requirements of its current authorization law. I also encourage Members to be thinking about additional ideas to ensure the NTSB carries out its duties in a more efficient and effective manner.
As Chair Homendy knows, the NTSB’s backlog of accident reports and investigations is unacceptable. While I am pleased that the agency is taking action to address this backlog, we need to ensure that this kind of issue does not occur again. A more efficient NTSB will yield timelier reports and recommendations and better equip the transportation sector with the information it needs to maintain and improve safety.
I look forward to hearing about Chair Homendy’s priorities and to reviewing the NTSB’s submitted proposal more closely.