Invoice would prohibit Buttigieg from personal air journey


WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) filed her first invoice of the 118th Congress on Wednesday that might require Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and his group to fly business solely.

The press launch mentioned it could solely require Buttigieg to fly commercially till the FAA reauthorization is accomplished, which might give time for him and his workers to research Southwest and the FAA.

“If in accordance with Sec. Buttigieg, on MSNBC earlier immediately, the FAA programs are continually being up to date, and in the event that they’re so good, then why is he flying personal on a regular basis?” Mace said on the issue. “Till we see the Southwest Airways debacle investigated; till the FAA software program glitches are fastened; and till we full the FAA reauthorization later this yr, the Secretary of Transportation needs to be required to fly business similar to everybody else.” 

In keeping with the discharge, Buttigieg has flown personal roughly 20 occasions up to now six months.

Nonetheless, a Division of Transportation spokesperson informed NewsNation that out of the 129 flights the secretary has taken, he flew business on 111 of them.

“Nonetheless, there are particular situations the place the DOT Ethics Workplace approves use of the 9-seat FAA airplane when it’s a extra environment friendly and/or cheaper means for the Secretary and accompanying personnel to journey. This strategy has saved taxpayer {dollars},” the spokesperson mentioned.

The invoice, Business Cabins for Cupboard Members Act, was filed in response to the current transportation meltdowns that Buttigieg has confronted over the previous few months, together with the FAA NOTAM system failure that precipitated a floor cease on Wednesday.

Whereas President Joe Biden ordered a “prime precedence” investigation into the FAA outage and the Senate is about to assessment it, many different firms, akin to U.S. Journey Affiliation, are calling on lawmakers to “modernize” the nation’s journey infrastructure.

However that is simply the most recent headache for vacationers within the U.S., who confronted flight cancellations over the vacations amid winter storms and a breakdown with staffing expertise at Southwest Airways. 

Mace mentioned a “critical dialog” about expertise and aviation is required after these incidents.

“We need to guarantee that our expertise works, that our expertise is protected, our expertise is safe,” she mentioned. “This can’t proceed, particularly with this being simply on the heels of the Southwest Airways debacle.”

If outdated expertise is the problem, Mace mentioned she desires to listen to Buttigieg say that he and the FAA will come to Congress and temporary them on the matter.

The FAA authorization is about to run out Sept. 30. Lawmakers have routinely prolonged the FAA authorized authority to function earlier than reaching an settlement on authorization, however this outage could put strain on Congress to take motion.