Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

A number of Republicans are calling for Joe Biden, the president of the United States, to fire Pete Buttigieg, his Secretary of Transportation. Such calls have come from Republican politicians at both the federal and state level, as per Just The News. Some have mentioned impeachment as a remedy if Buttigieg does not step down voluntarily.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote a letter to Joe Biden listing the East Palestine tragedy as the latest in a train of transportation-related scandals that occurred under Mr. Buttigieg’s tenure in office. He wrote, “Amidst an impending possible rail strike last year, Secretary Buttigieg left the country to vacation in Portuguese wine country. Near misses in commercial aviation, as well as recent system failures, including the one that shut down air travel in Florida in January, indicate that serious and persistent problems across the DOT are not being sufficiently remedied. I do not have confidence that Secretary Buttigieg is capable of keeping the American people safe.”

Mr. Buttigieg responded to the Florida senator’s criticism by saying that Mr. Rubio is in favor of weaker transportation regulations and that his letter was “pretty obviously drafted by [rail road] industry.” Mr. Rubio shot back that Pete was “was m.i.a. on the derailment. Then he lied to the media claiming my 2021 letter calling for more track inspections was a letter calling for deregulation. He is an incompetent who is focused solely on his fantasies about his political future & needs to be fired.”


Senator Rubio summed up his position on twitter when he wrote “Airline chaos, FAA meltdowns, trains derailing…what does @SecretaryPete have to do to get fired?”

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It ought to be noted that the average number of train derailments a year from 1990-2021 was 1,704. Rail-related hazardous materials incidents from 1975 to 2021 have caused 23 fatalities. US TODAY noted that “hazmat cargo violations caught during inspections of rail shippers and operators appear to be climbing. Over the last five years, federal inspectors have flagged 36% more hazmat violations compared with the five years prior – and fines for those are up 16%.” US TODAY also noticed that in “the last decade, hazardous materials have spilled or leaked from trains more than 5,000 times in the United States.”

Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) seconded Rubio’s opinion by tweeting that Buttigieg should resign.

Some local Ohio Republicans have also joined the chorus demanding the Secretary’s ouster. As Just the News notes, state representative Michael Rulli wrote that “The people in East Palestine had their water, air, and soil poisoned. Pete Buttigieg’s only response was to spin and say it wasn’t a big deal. He’s not doing his job. He needs to resign. Now.”

Representative Warren Davidson went further than the demands for resignation by invoking impeachment if Mr. Buttigieg fails to be fired or resign. He said, “I hope he does resign, and if he doesn’t, you know, there’s a long list of impeachment criteria. I never would have thought we’d see a point where we need to impeach a secretary of transportation, but daggone, how many failures have to happen on his watch before we call it?”

Secretary Pete Buttigieg may yet follow Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in being a target for impeachment over dereliction of duty.