DOT Pushes Back After Nonprofit Alleges Buttigieg Had No Scheduled Meetings On Supply Chain Crisis For Two Months

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James Lynch Contributor
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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had no official meetings specifically designated for the supply chain crisis scheduled for nearly two months during his parental leave, documents obtained by a conservative nonprofit allegedly show.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) vehemently denies the allegation.

“This is absurd and entirely untrue. Secretary Buttigieg has worked on supply chain issues throughout his time in the Biden Administration – and intensely so during the summer of 2021 through spring of 2022,” a DOT spokesperson told the Daily Caller. “The Secretary had multiple supply chain meetings and engagements throughout the summer and fall of 2021 – including meeting with the executive directors of the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach, railroad leaders, trucking leaders, labor leaders, and the CEOs of Walmart, FedEx, UPS, Target, Home Depot, and more.”

His schedule shows a heavy workload until he began parental leave in mid-August due to the birth of his twins. Buttigieg had frequent meetings with top officials in Congress and the Biden administration, his schedule shows. He also conducted regular internal meetings and made time for interviews with a variety of media outlets.

Buttigieg’s schedule from Aug. 14 to Oct. 5 shows 51 meetings, primarily consisting of daily check-ins and updates on the Biden administration’s legislative agenda. The check-ins were about the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan, legislative efforts by the administration to address infrastructure and provide economic assistance for families. Buttigieg also had meetings about the Build Back Better (BBB) negotiations, which led to the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in August 2022.

His calendar was obtained in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT), an ethics watchdog led by a former official in the Trump administration.

From August to October 2021, surging demand was generating rising inflation and port bottlenecks were causing shortages throughout the economy. (RELATED: Buttigieg Refused Key Meetings During Parental Leave Despite Saying Otherwise, Docs Show)

A microchip shortage was affecting the car industry and many sectors throughout the economy and ports around the world were clogged with ships. Grocery stores were grappling with product shortages and retailers were already uncertain about the upcoming Christmas shopping season.

Buttigieg had a meeting about a “port congestion update” at 4:00 p.m. on Oct. 6. On the morning of Oct. 7, he made an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” where he was asked about the supply chains and Biden’s infrastructure legislation. Buttigieg’s next briefing about “port congestion” occurred Oct. 12, when he resumed his usual, pre-parental leave schedule.

Buttigieg told CNN Oct. 17 he was “available 24/7, depending on what’s going on, and you’re going to have to engage,” in response to a question about his parental leave.

“Secretary Buttigieg claims that, even while on paternity leave, he was on call in an emergency. But when it came to the supply chain crisis, one of the most pressing and consequential emergencies plaguing Americans at the time, he was nowhere to be found,” said Michael Chamberlain, director of PPT.

“In 2021, efforts by [the Biden] Administration helped move more cargo through U.S. ports than ever before in American history,” the DOT representative also said.