Since President Joe Biden took office, if there’s a transportation-related disaster, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is close behind, downplaying the effect.
Sen. Marco Rubio has had enough.
The Florida Republican wants Biden to fire Buttigieg.
In a letter last week to Biden, Rubio explained that some who control the department outside of government believe Biden cannot do what must be done: fire Buttigieg.
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“I write to urge you to request the immediate resignation of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Buttigieg, who has repeatedly demonstrated a gross level of incompetence and apathy that is detrimental to the safety and prosperity of the American people,” Rubio wrote.
Since he took office, Buttigieg has recognized the threat by our inaction.
But specifically, that threat rests at the top.
Buttigieg, Rubio wrote, “downplayed and ignored crisis after crisis, while prioritizing topics of little relevance to our nation’s transportation system.”
“It is painfully clear to the American people that Secretary Buttigieg has little regard for the duties of the Secretary of Transportation.”
Rubio pointed out that Buttigieg has “refused to acknowledge the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, until his intentional ignorance was no longer tenable.”
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“Even after acknowledging the tragedy, he continues to deflect any accountability for the safety of our nation’s rail system. The circumstances leading up to the derailment point to a clear lack of oversight and demand engagement by our nation’s top transportation official.”
Rubio then noted that Buttigirg was “completely absent” during the “historic maritime and surface transportation disruptions” of 2021. That was the time Buttigieg took two months of paternity leave because he and his husband has adopted baby twins.
Then the nation faced a strike by railroad workers last year. On that occasion, Buttigieg “left the country to vacation in Portuguese wine country,” said Rubio.
The GOP senator also pointed out to Biden that “near misses in commercial aviation, as well as recent system failures, including the one that shutdown air travel in Florida in January, indicate that serious and persistent problems across the DOT are not being sufficiently remedied” with Buttigieg in power.
“I do not have confidence that Secretary Buttigieg is capable of keeping the American people safe,” Rubio wrote.
Rubio kept piling on.
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He noted that Buttigieg also allegedly “abused taxpayer dollars” by chartering private jets “that are costlier than allowed in federal employee travel regulations, including for international travel.”
“Similar instances in previous administrations have led to resignations,” Rubio pointed out.
Buttigieg also used government aircraft for travel that may be political in nature, Rubio wrote.
“The American people deserve to know that their tax dollars are not being abused for personal or political purposes by government officials, and that public officials are being held to the same standards regardless of their political affiliation,” he continued.
“For two years, the transparency and accountability that you promised to obsessively uphold during your inauguration has been nowhere to be found,” Rubio scolded Biden.
“The incompetence and failure within your administration cannot continue to be ignored when Americans’ health and safety are at risk.”
“I hope you will change course in order to uphold your so-far-unmet promise to the American people by requesting the immediate resignation of Secretary Buttigieg,” Rubio concluded.
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