On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure that significantly reduces Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's government salary to a nominal $1.
The bill, led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, was adopted as an amendment to the 2024 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act.
Greene took to social media to express her satisfaction with the amendment's passage, criticizing Buttigieg for what she referred to as "fake bike rides," misuse of taxpayer funds for private flights, and attending ceremonies unrelated to his official duties, Fox News reported.
She emphasized that American taxpayers should not be responsible for funding what she perceives as Buttigieg's personal luxuries or his salary.
"Pete Buttigieg doesn’t do his job. It’s all about fake photo ops and taxpayer-funded private jet trips to accept LGBTQ awards for him," Greene said. "I’m happy my amendment passed, but he doesn’t deserve a single penny."
Buttigieg has been a target for Republican lawmakers who have taken issue with his handling of various crises within the Department of Transportation, such as the delayed response to the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment and numerous commercial airline cancellations. His use of government-managed private jets, which is currently under an inspector general investigation, has also been a point of contention, particularly his travel to Montreal to accept an LGBTQ rights award.
Americans for Public Trust, an oversight organization, has criticized Buttigieg's office for a lack of transparency regarding the costs and purposes of these flights, suggesting that some of the travel may be more political than related to official Department of Transportation business.
"Secretary Buttigieg continues to blow off the American people who simply want to know the true cost of his taxpayer-funded private jet trips," APT Executive Director Caitlin Sutherland said to Fox News. "After multiple FOIA requests, a lawsuit, and an ongoing inspector general investigation, Buttigieg's office still refuses to provide vital details about using a private government jet for a swing state tour, which appears more akin to campaigning than official DOT business."
"Buttigieg looks to be politicizing his role and making it clear that he believes he’s above accountability and transparency, a dismissive attitude that seems to be endemic throughout the Biden administration," Sutherland said.
The bill's passage follows a controversial incident where Buttigieg was scrutinized for vacationing in Portugal during critical negotiations to prevent a potential rail worker strike, further fueling the debate over his dedication to the responsibilities of his office. He called it a “long-planned personal trip.”