US Grounding of Boeing 737 MAX Shows Limits of Company’s Clout
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By RICHARD LARDNER and JONATHAN LEMIRE for apnews.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Aerospace giant Boeing is a juggernaut in Washington, employing a team of in-house lobbyists and blue chip firms as part of a multimillion dollar influence operation built to shape policy on Capitol Hill and inside the Trump administration.
But the company's clout goes only so far.
Bowing to international pressure, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft in the U.S. were being grounded following the Ethiopian Airlines disaster and another crash involving the same model jet five months earlier in Indonesia. Many nations in the world had already barred the aircraft from their airspace.
Boeing also makes its presence felt through campaign contributions made by a political action committee and individual employees to lawmakers from both political parties. Boeing-affiliated groups and employees have donated close to $8.4 million since 2016, according to the political-money website Open Secrets.