Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, a Republican, was very critical of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Tuesday, accusing him of concentrating on “fabricated concerns” after a railway crash near East Palestine, Ohio. The 3rd of February derailment resulted in evacuations and shelter-in-place orders owing to the discharge of dangerous substances. On February 6th, officials warned of a probable “catastrophic explosion.”
Vance expressed his frustration with Buttigieg’s comments during a panel discussion at the National Association of Counties conference on Monday. Buttigieg had discussed the lack of diversity in the construction industry, which Vance deemed to be an issue that was not pertinent to the train derailment. He argued that the Secretary of Transportation should be focused on real problems, not fake ones.
Buttigieg finally addressed the derailment late Monday, releasing a tweet thread expressing his concern. However, Vance was still unsatisfied with the Secretary’s response and noted that Buttigieg had been the recipient of hundreds of billions of infrastructure funding yet the infrastructure seemed to be degrading or not improving.
This is not the first time Buttigieg has been criticized for his transportation policies. In December, Southwest Airlines had around 2,500 cancelled flights, and in January, a computer problem triggered the airline’s first ground halt since the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. In addition, he was criticized for missing important meetings while on paternity leave during the autumn 2021 supply chain issue.
Vance’s comments demonstrate the importance of having a Secretary of Transportation who is able to effectively address transportation issues and ensure that infrastructure is improving rather than degrading. It is clear that Vance believes Buttigieg has not been successful in this regard and is calling for him to focus on real problems instead of fake ones.
The preceding article is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Daily Caller