Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg might want to consider polishing his resume in the coming days because, if we’re all being honest, he needs to go.
With the U.S. airline industry already on extremely shaky ground, a widespread technical issue that affected the Federal Aviation Administration forced a nationwide outage early Wednesday with flights ordered to be grounded for over an hour, causing increased turmoil.
President Joe Biden was asked about the issue at the White House on Wednesday morning. The president seemed to throw Buttigieg — who couldn’t even run the city of South Bend, Indiana, during his time as its mayor — under the proverbial bus.
“I just spoke to Buttigieg and they don’t know what the cause is,” Biden told reporters.
The president added that he spoke with Buttigieg on the phone for “about ten minutes” and told the transportation secretary to report “directly” back to him when “they find out.”
President Biden on FAA system outage: “I just spoke to Buttigieg and they don’t know what the cause is. […] I told him to report directly to me when they find out.” https://t.co/ivqxHUXsL8 pic.twitter.com/co8vxkFJfZ
— The Hill (@thehill) January 11, 2023
That comment seemingly contradicted a statement released by Buttigieg on social media early Wednesday morning in which he blamed a glitch in a “key system” for the outage.
“I have been in touch with FAA this morning about an outage affecting a key system for providing safety information to pilots. FAA is working to resolve this issue swiftly and safely so that air traffic can resume normal operations, and will continue to provide updates,” the transportation secretary tweeted.
I have been in touch with FAA this morning about an outage affecting a key system for providing safety information to pilots. FAA is working to resolve this issue swiftly and safely so that air traffic can resume normal operations, and will continue to provide updates.
— Secretary Pete Buttigieg (@SecretaryPete) January 11, 2023
Buttigieg was cornered by reporters on Wednesday afternoon and explained why the FAA chose to shut everything down, citing safety concerns.
Pete Buttigieg: “When there’s a problem with a government system, we’re going to own it, we’re going to find it, and we’re going to fix it.” pic.twitter.com/dtTddmvLkk
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) January 11, 2023
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, slammed Buttigieg in a statement on Wednesday, calling for a “competent, proven leader” with the proper experience to lead the FAA through troubling times.
“The flying public deserves safety in the sky,” Cruz said. “The FAA’s inability to keep an important safety system up and running is completely unacceptable and just the latest example of dysfunction within the Department of Transportation. The administration needs to explain to Congress what happened, and Congress should enact reforms in this year’s FAA reauthorization legislation.
“This incident also highlights why the public needs a competent, proven leader with substantive aviation experience leading the FAA.”
My statement on the FAA system failure: pic.twitter.com/tJkXz1yfzS
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) January 11, 2023
Imagine how long Buttigieg would have lasted under former President Donald Trump. Maybe a few days?
Why isn’t this White House firing its obviously incompetent Cabinet members?
Remember, Buttigieg has been at the helm of the Transportation Department amid several other crises, including the ongoing supply chain crisis, a railroad worker strike that would have wrecked the U.S. economy in unfathomable ways, and crippling flight delays around the Christmas holidays.
It’s nothing short of mind-blowing that he’s still in charge of anything in the U.S. government.
A bombshell National Review report Tuesday said Buttigieg — the clean, green energy pusher himself — flew a government jet from Washington to New York City to “meet with the head of a liberal dark money group,” only to return hours later.
Caitlin Sutherland, the executive director of Americans for Public Trust, slammed the transportation secretary for his continued hypocrisy.
“As the self-described ‘second biggest fan of rail in the administration’ only behind the President, it’s laughable Secretary Buttigieg flew private to New York City to meet with the head of a liberal dark money group instead of taking Amtrak,” Sutherland said in a statement.
“He clearly thinks his time is more valuable than the taxpayers, who are left not only dealing with the fallout of his travel mismanagement but are also left footing the bill for his taxpayer-funded jet. Despite admonishing the American public to reduce their carbon footprint, Buttigieg is once again prioritizing his convenience over the environment,” Sutherland added.
In December, Buttigieg was widely criticized for being on vacation in Portugal while the railway strike loomed. Not only that, but he tried to make it look as if he was not on vacation by publishing videos that suggested he was in the United States doing his job.
What is the Biden administration waiting for? Hand this guy his walking papers, and let’s find someone who can do even the job’s basic requirements.
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