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The One Word that Could Mean the End for Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg. Image Credit: Creative Commons.

Republican members of Congress have called for the impeachment of everyone from  President Joe Biden to Vice President Harris to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Now, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has been added to the list

Pete Buttigieg Faces a New Problem

It’s not a rare thing for Republican members of Congress to call for impeachments of top Biden Administration figures, including the president himself. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), just this week called for the president to be impeached because of his trip to Ukraine on Monday to meet with President Zelensky. 

In addition to calls to remove Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and others, there’s now a call from the House of Representatives to impeach Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. 

Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), appearing on the Real America’s Voice network this week, called for the impeachment of Buttigieg, in reaction to the Ohio train derailment disaster. 

“Mayor Pete is not the right man for the job,” Davidson said on the “Stinchfield Tonight” show. When asked by the host if Buttigieg should resign, Davidson answered “I hope he does resign. And if he doesn’t there’s a long list of impeachment criteria. I never thought we would see a point where we need to impeach a Secretary of Transportation, but [dog gone], how many failures have to happen on his watch before we call it?” 

Buttigieg announced Tuesday that he plans to visit the site of the train derailment in Ohio “when the time is right.”

Pete Buttigieg added that he is “very interested in getting to know the residents of East Palestine, hearing from them about how they’ve been impacted and communicating with them about the steps that we’re taking.” 

It’s not clear if there is any official effort underway in Congress to push for Buttigieg’s impeachment. In Mayorkas’ case, legislation was already introduced, back in 2021, to call for his impeachment, but it never moved past the committee stage. In the new Congress, Rep. James Comer (R-KY) said in an interview last month that “I would vote to impeach Mayorkas right now.”

The Homeland Security Secretary defended himself this week in a CNN interview, declaring that while he takes the calls for his impeachment seriously while stating that “what I do is, I focus on my work.” He called the criticism of him more of a “disagreement over policy” than about anything he has done wrong. 

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote a letter to President Biden this week calling on Pete Buttigieg to resign

“I write to urge you to request the immediate resignation of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Buttigieg, who has repeatedly demonstrated a gross level of incompetence and apathy that is detrimental to the safety and prosperity of the American people,” Rubio said of his fellow former presidential candidate. 

“For two years, Secretary Buttigieg downplayed and ignored crisis after crisis, while prioritizing topics of little relevance to our nation’s transportation system. It is painfully clear to the American people that Secretary Buttigieg has little regard for the duties of the Secretary of Transportation.”

Rubio, in addition to the train derailment situation, cited Buttigieg’s response to the airline delay crises last year, as well as his use of private jets in some instances. 

MSNBC’s Maddow Blog provided a list of Biden Administration officials whose impeachment has been called for by Republicans, including Biden, Harris, Mayorkas, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Attorney General Merrick Garland, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, and FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

History Provides Comfort 

No cabinet secretary has ever been removed via impeachment in U.S. history, although many have resigned as a result of scandals.

William W. Belknap, the secretary of war under President Ulysses S. Grant, was impeached in 1876, although he had resigned prior to the impeachment vote and was later acquitted by the Senate, as his descendent discussed in an op-ed around the time of Donald Trump’s second impeachment in 2021.

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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.

Written By

Stephen Silver is a journalist, essayist, and film critic, who is also a contributor to Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review, and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.