The House of Representatives on Nov. 7 approved a measure aimed at reducing U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s taxpayer-funded salary to $1 per year as lawmakers debate spending bills ahead of a Nov. 17 government funding deadline.
The bill, introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) under the Holman Rule, was passed by voice vote in the Republican-majority House as an amendment to the 2024 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development spending bill.
The Holman Rule allows slashing the salary of federal employees or firing them. Ms. Greene noted the House's approval on her social media account and accused Mr. Buttigieg of taking taxpayer-funded trips on private planes.
“Pothole Pete staged fake bike rides to the White House and used private planes funded by taxpayers to receive awards for the way certain people have sex.
“American taxpayers should not be on the hook for paying for his lavish trips or his salary,” she added.
On Feb. 3, an eastbound Norfolk Southern Railway train of 151 cars derailed in East Palestine, triggering fear of chemical pollution. The railcars contained vinyl chloride, used to make PVC pipe, and other chemicals such as ethylene glycol monobutyl ether, ethylhexyl acrylate, and isobutylene that are used to make plastic products.
While Mr. Buttigieg made several media appearances between Feb. 5 and Feb. 13, he didn't pursue the topic of the train derailment in East Palestine.
He did discuss the crash in a Feb. 13 post on X. A day later, he blamed Trump administration policies for the crash, which triggered criticism from Republicans. Mr. Buttigieg then sparked outrage by claiming the crash was only one of the "roughly 1,000 cases a year of a train derailing."
“These fraudulent actions of Secretary Buttigieg illustrate that he is not to be trusted in leading our Department of Transportation, while Secretary Buttigieg was taking taxpayer-funded, carbon-emitting private jets to receive LGBTQ awards,” Ms. Greene said.
A DOT spokesperson responded to The Epoch Times: "Votes by congressional Republicans demonstrate a lack of seriousness for real issues directly impacting Americans and the American economy.
"The Secretary is more concerned with the underlying Republican House bill which drastically cuts railroad safety, ports critical to the American supply chain, and other critical infrastructure that millions of Americans and American businesses rely on every day. Right now, our country needs more investment in our infrastructure, not less."
Aviation, Rail Safety FailuresOn Sept. 5, Republicans on the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability sent a letter requesting that he provide information related to aviation and rail safety failures that have occurred across the country.
"Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) data indicate that there were 1,730 runway incursions in all of 2022 while there have already been 1,539 this year as of July 24, 2023,” the letter stated.
“Since the beginning of 2021, there have been approximately 2,000 rail incidents reported nationwide, including approximately 1,310 derailments and 146 collisions."
The letter then listed some of the aviation and rail safety incidents across the United States in recent years, among them a plane plunging within 800 feet of the Pacific Ocean in December after taking off from Maui, Hawaii.
“Despite these incidents," the letter stated, "the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST) has more than 86 new, unresolved recommendations since President Biden took office."