Buttigieg under fire after taking 2 months of paternity leave
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is on paid paternity leave, as the global supply chain continues to stall.
The Department of Transportation announced Thursday it’s top official has been out of the office since mid-August. According to the department, Buttigieg is spending time with his husband and their adopted twin babies. He is expected to remain on paternity leave for another few weeks, but has slowly returned to some of his work duties.
Taking to Twitter on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki wrote, “Also proud to work in an Administration that is fighting to make paid leave a reality for everyone.” She added, Buttigieg serves as a “role model on the importance of paid leave for new parents.”
However, Buttigieg’s newly found fatherhood has not been celebrated by some Republicans, who claim he’s been neglecting his duties.
In a tweet earlier this week, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said, “Pete Buttigieg was completely unqualified to serve as Secretary of Transportation…Now, Pete is absent during a transportation crisis that is hurting working-class Americans.”
This comes as hundreds of cargo ships remain stranded just outside the Port of Los Angeles threatening to disrupt the holiday shopping season.
Meantime, some are pinning the blame on Buttigieg for recent transportation issues. Speaking with the Washington Examiner, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R- Tenn.) accused Buttigieg of being absent during this week’s Southwest Airlines debacle.
“Hundreds of passengers are scrambling due to the ramifications of the White House’s threat to implement overreaching vaccine mandates,” she said. “Amid this air travel crisis, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is noticeably absent. It’s time for the Biden administration to face the consequences of their radical decision making.”