Recently, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to slash the salary of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to $1. This amendment was introduced by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and was added to the 2024 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development spending bill. This amendment was possible due to the Holman Rule, which allows for the reduction of the salaries of federal workers to $1.
Greene justified her amendment by accusing Buttigieg of using taxpayer-funded private jets and staging fake bike rides to the White House. She claimed that American taxpayers should not have to bear the expenses of Buttigieg's lavish trips or his salary. This attack on Buttigieg stems from a video that surfaced in 2021, which appeared to show security staff unloading Buttigieg's bike from an SUV for him to ride to a White House Cabinet meeting. However, both the Department of Transportation and Buttigieg denied these accusations, stating that he occasionally bikes the 3-mile trip.
Greene also criticized Buttigieg's response to a train derailment in eastern Ohio earlier this year. She claimed that while Buttigieg was receiving awards for his support of the LGBTQ+ community, he failed to serve the residents of East Palestine, who were affected by the train derailment and chemical spill. However, Buttigieg apologized for his delayed response and explained that he was trying to respect the boundaries of his role as Transportation Secretary.
One of the major reasons for Greene's amendment was Buttigieg's use of taxpayer-funded private jets to receive an award from Quebec's largest LGBTQ+ organization in September 2022. However, a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation clarified that Buttigieg mostly travels by commercial airline and has only used the FAA's private jets in specific cases where it was more efficient or cost-effective. They also stated that 108 out of the 126 flights that Buttigieg has taken were on commercial airlines.
In response to Greene's amendment, Buttigieg's spokesperson commented that the Secretary's salary is set by the president and can only be changed by the president. They also added that despite the attacks, Buttigieg remains focused on serving the American people and working towards improving the transportation system.
It is worth noting that this amendment was possible due to the Holman Rule, which was reestablished in 2017. This rule gives Congress the power to reduce the salaries of individual federal workers to $1. However, this rule can only be applied to specific individuals or positions and must be passed by both the House and Senate.
In conclusion, the House passed an amendment to slash Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's salary to $1, which was backed by Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene. This amendment was introduced under the Holman Rule and was possible due to accusations of Buttigieg's use of private jets and alleged staged bike rides. However, the Department of Transportation and Buttigieg have denied these accusations, and Buttigieg's focus remains on serving the American people.