Shielding Buttigieg’s Jet-Set Waste Is a Bipartisan Issue
Ten House Republicans, Fox News reports, have voted with Democrats to quash a bill that would have forced Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to “report his flight records on government-owned jets.”
As we noted last December, Secretary Pete Buttigieg had taken at least 18 trips on jets funded by taxpayers, including a trip to Montreal, Canada, to receive an award. Exposure of the flights by Americans for Public Trust yielded no revelations on the cost of the flights and prompted no change in the Secretary’s wasteful habits.
Last April 7, Buttigieg flew on a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) government jet from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport to an executive airport near New York City. Later that same day, Buttigieg returned to Washington on the same jet, a Cessna Citation 560XL, to attend a White House meeting.
During the short trip, Buttigieg had a 40-minute meeting with Deborah Archer, president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is not a branch of government. That was followed by a 20-minute meeting with Department of Transportation employees and a one-hour radio interview with the “Breakfast Club.”
Rep. Mary Miller, Illinois Republican, introduced an amendment to the FAA reauthorization legislation to require a report on the Transportation Secretary’s flight record. The measure was defeated 219-216, with the aid of ten Republicans, including House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves. Democratic representatives Yadira Caraveo, Ted Lieu, and Katie Porter voted in favor of the amendment.
Accountability remains a simple matter. The Department of Transportation should post all the Secretary’s trips on a government website in real-time and downloadable form. Given Secretary Buttigieg’s proclaimed dedication to the environment, the website should indicate the type of government jet used, the cost of the trip to taxpayers, and an estimate of its carbon emissions. The DOT would thus set a standard of transparency for every federal department.