Sunday, May 19, 2024

Government Watchdog To Investigate Buttigieg’s Use of Gov’t Private Jets

'It is painfully clear to the American people that Secretary Buttigieg has little regard for the duties of the Secretary of Transportation... '

(Headline USA) The Transportation Department inspector general revealed this week that Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is under investigation for his use of government-funded private jets.

A memo issued on Monday by DOT watchdog Charles Ward revealed plans to audit Buttigieg’s use of Federal Aviation Administration planes. The investigation follows reports that Buttigieg has used used the government planes on more than a dozen occasions.

“We will conduct an audite to determine whether the Office of the Secretary complied with Federal regulations, policies, and procedures regarding executive travel on DOT aircraft,” Ward’s memo read. “The audit will focus on official trips taken since January 31, 2017. We plan to begin this audit shortly.”

A spokesperson for Buttigieg claimed the secretary only used FAA planes when it was determined to be “more cost effective” than flying commercial. While the exact taxpayer cost of Buttigieg’s flights is unclear, the FAA has charged federal agencies roughly $5,000 per hour to use its fleet in the past, according to the Washington Post.

“We welcome this independent audit moving forward in order to put some of the false, outlandish, and cynical claims about the Secretary’s mode of travel to rest,” the spokesperson said.

Buttigieg “flies commercially the vast majority of the time,” the spokesperson insisted.

Buttigieg also released a statement on the matter, claiming that he only flies private to “save taxpayer money.”

Flight data shows Buttigieg has used government jets at least 18 times since taking office, according to Fox News.

Republicans have ramped up their calls for Buttigieg to resign in recent weeks, citing his delayed response to the East Palestine, Ohio, toxic train derailment as evidence of his lack of qualification for the job.

“For two years, Secretary Buttigieg downplayed and ignored crisis after crisis, while prioritizing topics of little relevance to our nation’s transportation system,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., wrote in a recent letter to President Joe Biden. “It is painfully clear to the American people that Secretary Buttigieg has little regard for the duties of the Secretary of Transportation.”

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