Now that Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives, talk has turned to the question of which members of the Biden Administration should be targeted for impeachment. From the Secretary of Homeland Security, Alejandro Mayorkas, to Joe Biden himself, there has been no shortage of speculation among Republicans about which officials deserve impeachment hearings.
But there is one cabinet secretary in particular who appears to be begging for impeachment proceedings: Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg . . . not merely because of his failed policies or as some political vendetta, but for the sheer incompetence Buttigieg has shown in managing the nation’s transportation system. Buttigieg had no qualifications for the position other than his support for Biden’s election (once dropping out of the race, himself) and helping the Biden Administration fill its diversity and inclusion goals. Now the American people are paying the price for this thoughtless way of approaching staffing.
Buttigieg’s tenure got off to a shaky start as he staged photos of himself riding a bike to a cabinet meeting in 2021; photos that were debunked by a video of the secretary’s security team removing his bike from the back of an SUV and then following him for the rest of the ride. He has also shown a love of private aviation, taking at least 18 flights on taxpayer-funded private jets, all while shaming working Americans for the size of their carbon footprints.
Unfortunately, Buttigieg’s failings go beyond failed photo opportunities. He proposed a mileage tax to help fund the president’s infrastructure bill at a time when gas prices were starting to surge and Americans were struggling to fill their gas tanks. He spoke about spending taxpayer money to overcome the innate racism of roads and bridges instead of focusing on optimizing our infrastructure.
He has also failed in executing his job like a professional. The two largest ports in the United States, Los Angeles and Long Beach, have been rated as the least efficient major ports in the world. No American port was in the top 20, with the Port of Virginia coming in at 23. During Buttigieg’s leadership the nation saw the cost of shipping containers between China and the United States explode; and logjams at our largest ports caused significant delays in getting products to market, resulting in companies and farmers losing billions in unrealized revenue. This all happened at a time when Buttigieg decided to take two months’ paternity leave. He continued to demonstrate his poor decision-making skills at the height of the negotiations to avoid a railroad strike, opting instead for a vacation in Portugal. While people have the right to paternity leave and to enjoy a vacation, the optics in the midst of these crises were terrible.
We also cannot overlook his complete failure to improve the performance of the airline industry. In August, he promised that his agency was “ready to take enforcement actions against airlines that don’t perform.” Then we had the recent December disaster, when nearly 6,000 flights were canceled just before Christmas due to both weather and the poor infrastructure of the industry. On January 11, we had the first nationwide ground stop since September 11, 2001, following the terror attacks of that day. Again, a lack of investment in infrastructure and poor maintenance caused the issues.
A poor transportation system and underperforming national supply chain hurt working Americans in the form of higher prices and the unavailability of products on the shelf. It is a hidden tax on those who can least afford to pay it.
As Republican leadership debates which members of the Biden Administration should be impeached, Buttigieg ought to top the list.