A group of 10 House Republicans helped Democrats defeat a bill that would have forced Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg, to report his flight record on government-owned jets.
A narrow vote of 219-216 was cast late on Wednesday against the bill, which had been introduced by Rep. Mary Miller (R-Ill.) as an amendment to Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization. The roll call shows that 10 Republicans voted no, while 3 Democrats voted yes.
Caitlin S. Sutherland is the executive director of the watchdog group Americans for Public Trust. “After Secretary Buttigieg’s department was caught using a taxpayer-funded private jet excessively, they doubled down and are refusing to reveal the true cost.”
She added, “That’s the reason we’re suing FAA because the American people have a right to these records and deserve transparency.”
Sam Graves (R-Mo.) and GOP Reps. Troy Balderson voted against it, as did Jack Bergman and Brian Fitzpatrick. Garet Graves voted no.
Democratic Reps. Yadira Caraveo, Ted Lieu, and Katie Porter voted in favor of the bill.
The bill was defeated on Wednesday, seven months after Fox News Digital published a report showing that Buttigieg – a vocal advocate of climate change measures – had taken at least 18 private flights funded by taxpayers using FAA jets from early 2021 to mid-2022. The report was based on Buttigieg’s internal calendar, which APT obtained.
Buttigieg used a government-managed jet to fly roundtrip from Washington, D.C., all the way to Las Vegas in August 2021 to promote public works. Buttigieg also used a private jet in August 2022 to travel to several states, including many considered swing states during elections. This was part of an infrastructure tour to highlight federal grants.
Buttigieg’s senior advisors flew five more times on the jets, without him.
In late February, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation opened an investigation into Buttigieg’s use of the FAA Fleet. The investigation is ongoing.
We welcome the independent audit to help put to rest some of the false and outlandish claims made about the Secretary’s travel mode. “The fact is that he flies on commercial flights the majority of the time,” a DOT spokeswoman said.
APT sued the FAA in June for its delays in releasing additional documents regarding Buttigieg’s travels aboard the federal government’s jet fleet.
The House passed FAA reauthorization in an overwhelming 351-69 vote on Thursday morning.
Graves, chairman of the Transportation Committee, said: “America has always set the standard for aviation and this bill will ensure that we continue to be the world leaders.” This bipartisan bill improves our airport infrastructure and our quality of service to passengers.