Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called Thursday for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to resign, accusing the cabinet member of botching the response to a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Rubio wrote a letter to President Joe Biden requesting that Buttigieg resign because of his “gross level of incompetence and apathy that is detrimental to the safety and prosperity of the American people.” The Florida Republican pointed to Buttigieg’s delayed response to the train derailment in East Palestine and to other transportation crises.
It is time for @SecretaryPete to resign.
— Senator Marco Rubio (@SenMarcoRubio) February 16, 2023
“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,” Rubio wrote.
Buttigieg did not respond to the East Palestine train derailment until 10 days after the Feb. 3 train crash forced residents to evacuate the town as deadly chemicals were released into the environment.
The secretary and former presidential candidate was also criticized for lacking oversight when a Federal Aviation Administration glitch temporarily grounded flights in January and Southwest canceled 2,500 flights around Christmas.
Buttigieg has received additional scrutiny for taking an extended parental leave during supply chain shortages and vacationing while railway workers were threatening to strike for better contract terms.
A chemical mushroom cloud over East Palestine, Ohio?
Pete Buttigieg has more important things to worry about
Like racist highways pic.twitter.com/BkHmXJOkQF
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) February 16, 2023
Pete Buttigieg on the Ohio train derailment disaster: "While this horrible situation has gotten a particularly high amount of attention, there are roughly 1,000 cases a year of a train derailing." pic.twitter.com/5NFtZnlDmg
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) February 16, 2023
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