Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg responded to criticism from House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Thursday, dismissing Johnson as unserious in his assessment of the Transportation Department’s management. Johnson had voiced his concerns about Buttigieg’s leadership earlier in the week while touring a project in Sarasota, Fla., funded by the bipartisan infrastructure law.
Expressing his displeasure, Johnson stated, “I’m not delighted in the way that Secretary Buttigieg has run the Transportation Department. I think there’s been … let’s say, to be charitable, it’s left much to be desired.”
In retort, Buttigieg highlighted Johnson’s opposing vote on the infrastructure law, stating, “Spoken while touring an airport project that we selected… for funding from President Biden’s infrastructure bill… that Speaker Johnson voted against.” He also pointed out Johnson’s two votes this year to reduce air traffic control budgets, deeming such actions as “unserious.”
During his tour of the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, which received $100 million in funding from the infrastructure law for an expansion project, Johnson faced criticism from Florida Rep. Kathy Castor (D). She labeled his visit as “awkward” and “shameful,” emphasizing that Johnson toured a project he had voted against.
Democratic lawmakers and key Biden administration figures, including President Biden, have consistently criticized Republican counterparts for promoting investments in their states that originated from funding for bills they opposed, such as the infrastructure law and the Inflation Reduction Act.