Republican Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio blasted Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg Tuesday for focusing on “fake problems” in the midst of a train derailment.
“Yesterday, Pete Buttigieg had the opportunity to address this problem. He instead talked about the excessive amount of – this is not a joke – too many white men in the construction industry,” Vance said. “That is not a serious concern for this country right now. What is going on in East Palestine is. The Secretary of Transportation needs to focus on real problems, not fake problems.” (RELATED: ‘Everything’s Fine’: Tucker Carlson Rips Biden Admin’s Lack Of Concern Over ‘Toxic Smoke’ From Ohio Trainwreck)
A train carrying toxic chemicals derailed near East Palestine, Ohio, Feb. 3, prompting evacuations and shelter-in-place orders as authorities moved to address the release of the chemicals. Officials warned of a possible “catastrophic blast” Feb. 6.
“We have heard way too many stories from generations past of infrastructure where you got a neighborhood, often a neighborhood of color, that finally sees the project come to them but everyone in the hardhats on that project looking like, doing the good-paying jobs, don’t look like they came from anywhere near the neighborhood,” Buttigieg said Monday during a panel discussion at the National Association of Counties conference.
The Transportation Secretary finally broke his silence on the derailment late Monday, releasing a tweet thread expressing his concern.
Buttigieg came under fire following an avalanche of over 2,500 flight cancellations by Southwest Airlines in December, followed by a January computer glitch that caused the first ground stop since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Buttigieg also received criticism for not attending crucial meetings while on parental leave during the supply chain crisis in the fall of 2021.
“The Secretary of Transportation has been the recipient of hundreds of billions of infrastructure funding and it looks in a lot of ways like our infrastructure is degrading or certainly not getting better,” Vance said.
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