According to a report published by the Washington Post Examiner on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, House Republicans successfully advanced an amendment on Tuesday evening aimed at reducing Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s annual salary to just $1.
The proposed amendment, introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), was put forward as part of the 2024 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development spending bill.
The amendment, if approved, would trigger a significant cut to Buttigieg’s salary and be executed under the Holman Rule, which allows the annual salaries of individual federal workers to be slashed to a symbolic $1.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene took to the platform formerly known as Twitter to share the news of her amendment’s passage in the House, writing, “I’m proud to announce my amendment to FIRE Pete Buttigieg just PASSED the House.
“Pothole Pete staged fake bike rides to the White House and used private planes funded by taxpayers to receive awards for the way certain people have sex, American taxpayers should not be on the hook for paying for his lavish trips or his salary”.
The move to reduce Buttigieg’s salary to such a nominal amount was met with significant backlash and questions regarding its legality and implications, as only the President has the authority to remove Cabinet members from their positions.
Multiple incidents have fueled the controversy surrounding Buttigieg.
In 2021, a video showed security staff unloading Buttigieg’s bike from the back of an SUV, seemingly before he embarked on a bike ride to a White House Cabinet meeting and back to the Department of Transportation.
This video raised suspicions among conservatives, who accused Buttigieg of staging the bike ride for publicity.
In response, the Department of Transportation (DOT) and Buttigieg denied the accusations and clarified that he occasionally biked the 3-mile distance.
Rep. Greene also criticized Buttigieg for his perceived slow response to a train derailment in eastern Ohio earlier in the year, a situation that drew criticism from local residents.
The Norfolk Southern train involved in the derailment was transporting hazardous materials, and the delayed response by Buttigieg added to the frustration of the affected community.
Buttigieg waited nearly three weeks before visiting East Palestine and subsequently issued an apology for the delay.
“I felt strongly about this and could have expressed that sooner, I was taking pains to respect the role that I have and the role that I don’t have, and that should not have stopped me from weighing in about how I felt about what was happening to this community”, Buttigieg admitted in February.
Buttigieg’s receipt of an award from Quebec’s largest LGBTQ organization in September 2022 also drew attention.
He was honored for his contributions to the advancement of LGBTQ rights.
However, this accolade raised eyebrows as it was revealed that Buttigieg had used taxpayer-funded flights on private jets managed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to attend the award ceremony.
In response to the criticism, a DOT spokesperson defended Buttigieg’s travel practices, stating, “Secretary Buttigieg mostly travels by commercial airline and has directed that travel and logistical decisions be grounded in the efficient and responsible use of taxpayer dollars.
“However, there are some cases where it is more efficient and/or less expensive for the Secretary and accompanying personnel to fly on a 9-seater FAA plane rather than commercial flights.
“Use of the FAA plane in limited, specific cases has helped to maximize efficiency and save thousands of taxpayer dollars”.