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Rubio calls for Buttigieg's resignation following Ohio train derailment


Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is calling for Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to resign after coming under fire for the department’s oversight of the U.S. rail system following a train derailment in Ohio that has spilled toxins into the environment.

“Secretary Buttigieg refused to acknowledge the disaster in East Palestine, Ohio, until his intentional ignorance was no longer tenable,” Rubio said in a letter addressed to President Biden, urging him to request Buttigieg’s resignation.

“Even after acknowledging the tragedy, he continues to deflect any accountability for the safety of our nation’s rail system,” Rubio added.

Residents nearby the crash in Ohio were evacuated after the 150-car train derailed and spilled chemicals, raising fears of a possible explosion. Evacuation orders have since been lifted, but questions remain about what materials were spilled from the crash and the ongoing impact to the local community.

Republicans have pounced on the embattled Buttigieg, who has dealt with controversy in recent months over flight delays and missteps at the Federal Aviation Administration. Rubio and Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) ramped up the pressure on Buttigieg earlier this week, questioning the department’s oversight of the rail system.

But Rubio took it a step further on Thursday, calling for Buttigieg’s ouster, arguing the rail disaster is just one chapter in an ongoing saga of mismanagement by the secretary.

“Unfortunately, this is part of a two-year long pattern,” Rubio said. “I do not have confidence that Secretary Buttigieg is capable of keeping the American people safe.”

Buttigieg has met the disaster in Ohio by saying the Department of Transportation will support the Environmental Protection Agency in its investigation of the matter but also touting his department’s efforts to bolster rail safety in the U.S., saying it was making “historic investments” stemming from the $1.2 trillion infrastructure package signed into law in 2021.

Source: The Hill

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