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Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg mocked Republicans who are concerned about men playing in women’s sports, arguing that their focus on the issue is “getting in the way” of repairing bridges and increasing transportation safety.
Buttigieg was interviewed by The Daily Show’s Desi Lydic, who asked, “Why do you think some Republicans are stalling on this? Is it because they’re too busy focused on starting culture wars?
“Well, I do think that the culture wars are getting in the way sometimes,” Buttigieg answered. “I mean, just the other day I was testifying in the appropriations subcommittee explaining how our budget was going to help with things like railroad safety, air traffic control, and other transportation needs, and we had to take a break so they could all go and vote on a bill to kick transgender teenagers off of sports teams.”
“That was the priority for the House GOP that day,” Buttigieg declared. “So these things really are getting in the way of our ability to get work done. We’re literally building bridges, and they are literally banning books.”
Secy. @PeteButtigieg tells the Daily Show: House Republicans' bill restricting transgender participation in women's sports is "really getting in the way of our ability to" repair bridges & railroads.
"We are literally building bridges, and they are literally banning books.” pic.twitter.com/oAOOaBvJXg
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) April 26, 2023
Buttigieg’s performance as transportation secretary has elicited harsh criticism from members of Congress.
“What in the hell does Pete Buttigieg have to do to get fired?” Senator Ted Cruz said in the wake of the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment. “Like in the history of this country, has there ever been a transportation secretary who has screwed more things up? From in his first year in office, a supply chain crisis that impacted the entire country that made it hard to get basics and essentials?”
“The recent train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio is nothing short of a tragedy,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) commented. “This is another transportation failure under Mayor Pete’s leadership. Where is he?”
During the supply chain crisis, Buttigieg took months of paid leave. He later vacationed in Portugal as a nationwide rail strike was imminent, and has also been criticized by Democratic officials for his alleged failure to prevent mass delays and cancellations at Southwest Airlines over the holidays.
Additionally, Buttigieg, an ardent proponent of reducing carbon emissions, had taken taxpayer-funded private jets rather than commercial planes at least 18 times since he was inaugurated into office, Fox News reported in December 2022.