Pete Buttigieg Shuts Down Lauren Boebert’s Lies About Biden’s Team

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So much of what the far-right wing of the Republican Party has to offer these days is just bluster.

Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) shared more of her familiarly styled complaints about the Biden administration in a post on Twitter that this time targeted Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and the federal official — who has faced criticism over issues outside his direct control — was paying attention. “Buttigieg is running this country’s rail system like a toddler playing with his first toy train set,” Boebert claimed in response to a post claiming there’d been another train derailment. There are unfortunately more than Republicans’ suddenly obsessive focus on the Norfolk Southern train wreck in the area of East Palestine, Ohio, would suggest — but there’s also more work that’s underway.

“If you care about derailments, we need to talk about your House GOP Freedom Caucus budget proposal that would cut railroad safety inspections,” Buttigieg said in a Monday reply to the Colorado Congresswoman, following up with a pair of links illustrating his points. He’s been directly responding to showy complaints for a while. “Here’s some data showing how railroad accident rates fell after regulations and enforcement got stronger (and remaining levels that illustrate why we believe enforcement powers need to get tougher, not weaker),” he added. “And here’s more on how the extreme House GOP budget proposal would affect railroad safety and Air Traffic Control.”

The proposal Buttigieg referenced is specifically from the House Freedom Caucus, which is a group of House members including more extremist Congressional figures and chaired in this Congress by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.). The group has called for leaving topline levels of discretionary federal spending at 2022 levels for a decade, which would result in sharp limits on key federal operations. The White House tied an iteration of the group’s demands to what would apparently result in, as Buttigieg mentioned, vast claw-backs in railroad safety inspections either planned or already ongoing in the progress on funding that’s been made since 2022 ended.

“At a time when train derailments are wreaking havoc on community safety, the extreme MAGA Republican House Freedom Caucus proposal would lead to 11,000 fewer rail safety inspection days next year alone, and 30,000 fewer miles of track inspected annually—enough track to cross the United States nearly 10 times,” Biden’s team said. There has also been a push from others for a transition to more automated railroad safety inspections, for which Buttigieg has also had criticism. Elsewhere, there’s also still a need for members of Congress to settle on an expansion of the debt ceiling, which deals with what the U.S. government can do in regards to previous spending. Democrats have evidently largely pushed for dealing with that need without accompanying legislative priorities, like budget reductions, attached.