February 8, 2023

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Bill would prohibit Buttigieg from private air travel

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) submitted her initially bill of the 118th Congress on Wednesday that would call for Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his workforce to fly commercial only.

The push release claimed it would only demand Buttigieg to fly commercially until the FAA reauthorization is concluded, which would give time for him and his workers to look into Southwest and the FAA.

“If according to Sec. Buttigieg, on MSNBC previously nowadays, the FAA techniques are regularly remaining updated, and if they’re so very good, then why is he flying non-public all the time?” Mace claimed on the difficulty. “Until we see the Southwest Airlines debacle investigated until the FAA computer software glitches are preset and till we finish the FAA reauthorization later this yr, the Secretary of Transportation should really be necessary to fly commercial just like absolutely everyone else.” 

According to the release, Buttigieg has flown personal around 20 instances in the previous 6 months.

On the other hand, a Department of Transportation spokesperson told NewsNation that out of the 129 flights the secretary has taken, he flew professional on 111 of them.

“However, there are specific circumstances wherever the DOT Ethics Workplace approves use of the 9-seat FAA plane when it is a extra effective and/or less high priced way for the Secretary and accompanying personnel to travel. This technique has saved taxpayer bucks,” the spokesperson said.

The bill, Professional Cabins for Cabinet Members Act, was filed in reaction to the new transportation meltdowns that Buttigieg has confronted over the previous several months, which includes the FAA NOTAM system failure that triggered a floor end on Wednesday.

Although President Joe Biden requested a “top priority” investigation into the FAA outage and the Senate is set to review it, quite a few other firms, these as U.S. Journey Association, are calling on lawmakers to “modernize” the nation’s journey infrastructure.

But this is just the most recent headache for vacationers in the U.S., who faced flight cancellations over the vacations amid wintertime storms and a breakdown with staffing technology at Southwest Airlines. 

Mace mentioned a “serious conversation” about know-how and aviation is necessary following these incidents.

“We want to make positive that our engineering performs, that our technologies is risk-free, our engineering is safe,” she explained. “This can’t continue on, especially with this remaining just on the heels of the Southwest Airlines debacle.”

If outdated know-how is the issue, Mace mentioned she wants to listen to Buttigieg say that he and the FAA will appear to Congress and brief them on the issue.

The FAA authorization is established to expire Sept. 30. Lawmakers have routinely extended the FAA lawful authority to run right before reaching an agreement on authorization, but this outage may possibly set strain on Congress to get motion.