March 23rd, 2014
11:03 AM ET
8 months ago

Lawmakers weigh in on search for Flight 370

(CNN) - As the search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 focuses on the Indian Ocean, some members of Congress are putting pressure on the Malaysian government for better cooperation with the United States.

Rep. Patrick Meehan, a Republican from Pennsylvania and member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, told CNN's Candy Crowley on “State of the Union” on Sunday that he wishes communication were better.

"The reports I'm getting are frustration. We're invited in only a little bit," he said of U.S. involvement in the search for the Boeing 777, which disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.

"Across the board, people are looking for more in the way of openness from the Malaysian government in terms of sharing the information they have in a timely manner."

The White House disclosed last week that the FBI would join in Malaysia's investigation by helping to retrieve deleted data on a computer flight simulator belonging to the plane’s pilot. The U.S. military is already working with Malaysian authorities, as are the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration.

Meehan's comments come as new satellite images point to possible debris from the flight in the southern Indian Ocean, where an international team is combing the isolated waters.

White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken cautioned not to "get ahead of the facts," adding that “there’s no prevailing theory” about how the aircraft vanished.

"The bottom line is this: We need to get the facts but can't get ahead of the facts," he said on "State of the Union."

"We don't know what happened to the plane, why it happened. We're working on it. This is something that we're on every day in cooperation with Malaysians and with many other countries in the region.”

Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Rogers said in all likelihood, the plane crashed in the Indian Ocean. And Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Mike McCaul said on “Fox News Sunday” that searchers "wasted a week" by not focusing resources there earlier.

"You can't take anything off the list yet, but when you look at what is probable and what is plausible, it certainly rates as the probable," Rogers said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "I do believe, based on everything I've seen so far, it is likely and probable that it crashed in the Indian Ocean."

McCaul also said they have not ruled out terrorism, though it's "less likely."

Meehan said Flight 370 exposes a need for global standardization of flight protocols.

"What we need to do is strike a balance between need to obtain important data regarding the performance of the aircraft, but also give the pilot the ability to do the job they are tasked with," he said.

"I think once we get to the root of what happens with this Malaysian flight, we'll have more clarity on what that balance is."

Appearing with Meehan on CNN, Stephen Trimble, an aviation journalist for Flight Global, said in the future, airlines can install systems that would help narrow the search in situations like Flight 370.

Watch State of the Union with Candy Crowley Sundays at 9am ET. For the latest from State of the Union click here.


Filed under: Mike McCaul • Mike Rogers • TV-State of the Union
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Very sad incident. God bless them all.....

    March 23, 2014 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. it must be said

    The USA is the only country on the planet with the technology to find this plane. The rest of the world should fund the search and let the professionals (USA) take over at this point.

    March 23, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. BErnard

    lawmaker are great when thing done the right way

    March 23, 2014 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |