Senator Marco Rubio Joins Chorus Demanding Buttigieg Resign


OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

The calls are getting louder for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to resign and they now include Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. It comes after a disastrous chemical spill from a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. The Florida senator made the request to President Joe Biden directly in a letter calling on him to ask the secretary to resign.

“Dear Mr. President: 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,” the senator said.

“For two years, Secretary Buttigieg 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,” he said in his correspondence. “At no time has that been more apparent than the past two weeks. Secretary Buttigieg refused to acknowledge the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, until his intentional ignorance was no longer tenable. 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.”

“Unfortunately, this is part of a two-year long pattern. During historic maritime and surface transportation disruptions in 2021, Secretary Buttigieg was completely absent. Amidst an impending possible rail strike last year, Secretary Buttigieg left the country to vacation in Portuguese wine country. 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. I do not have confidence that Secretary Buttigieg is capable of keeping the American people safe,” the senator said.


“Secretary Buttigieg is also alleged to have 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. Secretary Buttigieg is also alleged to have used government aircraft for travel that may be political in nature. 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 said.

“For two years, the transparency and accountability that you promised to obsessively uphold during your inauguration has been nowhere to be found. 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,” he said.

But Sen. Rubio was not the only person to say that the secretary should resign.

“Pete Buttigieg needs to visit East Palestine and explain himself. If he can’t provide the answers Americans deserve, he should resign,” Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel said.

“What happened in East Palestine, Ohio is unacceptable. And yet, Biden’s Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has been nowhere to be found,” Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said.

“Pete Buttigieg is nowhere to be found YET AGAIN as toxic chemicals are spewing out in East Palestine, Ohio after a train crash. While he’s worried about “racist highways”, our nation’s transit systems are falling apart,” Rep Lauren Boebert said.

“Pete Buttigieg has finally emerged today. Not a single comment about the train crash in Ohio. Instead, he bemoaned the whiteness of the construction industry. It’s a miracle that this country is able to function at all under this regime,” she said.

“Silence from the press and the federal government is dereliction of duty to the public. Where is Pete Buttigieg? How will this Ohio train derailment affect our farmers, the nearby population, and our supply chain for Americans?” former Rep. Mayra Flores said.

Even Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar demanded answers from the transportation secretary.

“East Palestine railroad derailment will have a significant negative impact on the health and wellbeing of the residents for decades and there is almost zero national media attention. We need Congressional inquiry and direct action from @PeteButtigieg to address this tragedy,” she said.


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