Pete Buttigieg Confronts House GOP For Threatening A Damaging Shutdown


House Republicans are effectively pushing the federal government closer to a potential shutdown with the refusal from key figures in the chamber to go along with already established or advancing agreements on the funding that’s necessary for the government’s full functioning. The Senate has already prepared and advanced a bipartisan arrangement that would temporarily extend past approvals for funding — and so far, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) insists the House won’t even be voting on it as it stands.

And besides their struggles in the House to actually pass anything, the substance of what they’re promoting is also extreme. One of the proposals that’s circulated would inflict cuts evidently reaching eight percent to many areas of government spending, at least for a time — and the Biden administration, including Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, is sharing some of the expected impacts of those cuts should they be implemented and extended across a year.

“Some of the same House Republicans who politicized flight delays & train derailments are now pushing extreme budget cuts that would undermine air traffic control operations and cut back on rail safety inspections,” Buttigieg said online, having shared similar sentiments elsewhere in media interviews. “They must honor the deal they struck to keep the government open.” Though that earlier arrangement clearly didn’t have the most commanding force of the law, a deal between GOP leadership and the White House from when the federal government’s debt ceiling was raised would have kept spending much closer to the past year’s level once this new fiscal year soon begins. And yet, Republicans want more.

Buttigieg also explained how the shutdown threatened by the Republicans refusing to go along with spending deals without also getting their way on certain policy issues would create serious problems. “For one thing, it would stop the hiring and training of air traffic controllers at the exact moment when America recognizes we need more, not less, when it comes to support for air traffic control,” Buttigieg said. Elsewhere, threats would arise under the GOP’s proposed cuts to benefit programs on which many disadvantaged Americans rely. Is that really what Republicans want to be doing? Pushing women and children onto a waitlist for nutritional assistance?