Republican files bill to make Pete Buttigieg to fly commercial until flight debacles are fixed

Republican files bill to make Pete Buttigieg to fly commercial until the FAA shutdown and Southwest debacle are fixed: GOP piles on criticism in latest scandal after Portugal vacation during strike talks and the supply chain chaos last year

  • New bill would force Buttigieg to fly commercial until transportation failures are fully investigated and resolved 
  • Introduced by Rep. Nancy Mace, who served on the Transportation panel
  • Follows a FAA computer glitch that canceled thousands of flights Wednesday
  • Also comes amid fallout from Southwest holiday travel meltdown 

Republicans want Pete Buttigieg and his staff to be forced to fly commercial flights until recent failures in air transportation are fully investigated and resolved.

Representative Nancy Mace filed a bill Wednesday that would force the Transportation Secretary to come face-to-face with disastrous airline travel.

Specifically, Southwest Airlines had a complete meltdown over the holidays that resulted in thousands of flights being canceled and delayed – resulting in stranded passengers and a nationwide baggage catastrophe.

Airline departures in the U.S. were also grounded for several hours Wednesday morning due to a computer glitch with the Federal Aviation Administration system that sends pilots safety alerts and other critical information.

Buttigieg, 40, has faced a slew of criticism for his handling of transportation and infrastructure issues plaguing the U.S. since he became head of President Joe Biden’s DOT two years ago.

A new Republican bill would force Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his staff to fly commercial until recent failures in air transportation are fully investigated and resolved

A new Republican bill would force Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his staff to fly commercial until recent failures in air transportation are fully investigated and resolved

The bill was introduced Wednesday by Representative Nancy Mace, who served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, after the FAA had to ground thousands of flights for several hours Wednesday morning

The bill was introduced Wednesday by Representative Nancy Mace, who served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, after the FAA had to ground thousands of flights for several hours Wednesday morning

He also came under fire last month for taking a personal vacation to Portugal in the midst of negotiations with railroad unions to avoid a looming strike that could disrupt the entire U.S. transportation system and supply chain right before Christmas.

The only political experience Buttigieg had before becoming a cabinet official was serving as mayor of South Bend, Indiana from 20212-2020. He ran in the Democratic presidential primary in 2020, and had a relatively successful campaign considering his lack of national notoriety, his hard-to-pronounce last name and being openly gay.

Commercial Cabins for Cabinet Members was filed Wednesday by South Carolina Representative Mace, who serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

She said earlier this month that her children were affected by the Southwest debacle, and claimed they almost didn’t make it home in time for Christmas.

Regarding the FAA glitch, Buttigieg explained in a press conference: ‘There was a systems issue overnight that led to a ground stop because of the way safety information was moving through the system.’

Although the problem was soon fixed, Buttigieg warned that travelers could expect to see some effects ‘rippling through the system.’

The bill, Mace said in a statement announcing it on Wednesday, ‘would require the Secretary of Transportation to only fly commercial.’

The Federal Aviation Administration system that sends pilots safety alerts and other critical information glitched Wednesday and led to hours of departing flights being grounded

The Federal Aviation Administration system that sends pilots safety alerts and other critical information glitched Wednesday and led to hours of departing flights being grounded

‘So, until the issues with Southwest and the FAA are investigated and resolved, he and his staff, should be required to fly commercial just live every other American,’ she said.

‘This should provide enough time to investigate Southwest and the FAA,’ the Republican lawmaker added.

A spokesperson for DOT told Fox News that 111 of Buttigieg’s 129 flights in his capacity as Transportation secretary have been commercial because it is the cheapest way to fly.

They clarified that there are ‘specific instances where the DOT Ethics Office approves use of the 9-seat FAA plane’ because it is ‘more efficient and/or less expensive’ for the secretary and his personnel to travel that way.

‘This approach has saved taxpayer dollars,’ the spokesperson added.

Mace has slammed Buttigieg for flying ‘approximately 20 times’ in the last six months.

Buttigieg traveled to Porto, Portugal last month as the federal government and railroad unions worked to avert a nationwide strike.

The previously unreported ‘personal trip’ earned Buttigieg widespread criticism considering it was taken just one week before Amtrak announced the cancellation of long-distance route in anticipation of a rail worker strike.

A DOT spokesperson told multiple outlets: ‘The secretary took a long-planned personal trip from Aug. 29 to Sept. 5. As usual, while traveling on personal time he remained available and engaged on urgent issues, which in this case meant multiple calls with staff and stakeholders to work on the topic of rail labor negotiations.’

Luckily, the U.S. was able to avert a strike, but if it happened, the shutdown of railways could have cost the U.S. economy $2 billion in losses per day.

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