The recent move by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to cut Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s taxpayer-funded government salary to just $1 reflects growing conservative frustration with perceived failures and wasteful spending within the Department of Transportation. Buttigieg has come under fire from Republican lawmakers for his handling of various crises during his tenure, and many see this salary reduction as a way to hold him accountable.
The bill, which passed via voice vote as an amendment to the 2024 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, is seen as a rebuke of Buttigieg’s actions while in office. Criticisms include his apparent inaction in response to the train derailment in Ohio and his delayed visit to the site, which raised concerns about his effectiveness in responding to emergencies.
Another point of contention has been the mass commercial airline cancellations that have occurred under Buttigieg’s watch, with calls from both sides of the aisle for more decisive action to protect air travelers. The fact that Buttigieg has used government-managed private jets on at least 18 occasions during his tenure has raised questions about the cost to taxpayers and transparency in his office.
One particular instance that drew attention was Buttigieg’s use of a government jet for a trip to Montreal, during which he received an award from a Canadian gay rights organization. The lack of transparency regarding these trips, even after multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and an ongoing inspector general investigation, has only added to concerns that the transportation secretary is evading accountability.
Additionally, Buttigieg faced criticism for vacationing in Porto, Portugal, during tense negotiations with rail worker unions that had the potential to impact the U.S. economy. While the Department of Transportation cited the trip as a long-planned personal vacation, it raised questions about his priorities and commitment to addressing pressing issues in his role.
The move to reduce Buttigieg’s salary to $1 is viewed by conservatives as a necessary step to address what they see as his failures and mismanagement. It serves as a message that accountability and transparency are essential in government positions, particularly those related to transportation and infrastructure. Whether or not this measure ultimately passes, it sends a clear signal that conservatives are closely scrutinizing the actions and decisions of government officials.