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House GOP Resolution Urges Buttigieg to Resign Over Ohio Train Wreck

© AFP 2023 / DUSTIN FRANZSmoke rises from a derailed cargo train in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 4, 2023.
Smoke rises from a derailed cargo train in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 4, 2023. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2023
The toxic spill that ensued after the February 3 Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, with hazardous chemicals that the train cars were carrying entering the air, ground and water, has stirred up a scandal over its possible long-term health consequences, as well as the perceived incompetence of officials.
House Republicans have introduced a resolution slamming US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg for “neglecting” his duties, and urging him to resign. Coming in the wake of the toxic train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3, the resolution was spearheaded by Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and several of his GOP colleagues, such as Reps. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Ryan Zinke of Montana, Mike Collins of Georgia, and Greg Steube of Florida.
The resolution condemns Buttigieg for having "failed to mitigate or effectively respond to multiple national crises," adding that his "ineptitude has jeopardized the safety and prosperity of the American people." Pete Buttigieg finally visited East Palestine 20 days after the derailment, with fuming local residents slamming it as "too little, too late."
© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot of post by Republican Rep. Mike Waltz.
Twitter screenshot of post by Republican Rep. Mike Waltz. - Sputnik International, 1920, 02.03.2023
Twitter screenshot of post by Republican Rep. Mike Waltz.

'AWOL During National Crises'

Pete Buttigieg "has been AWOL during multiple national crises," Florida Republican Michael Waltz underscored in a tweet.
Waltz and his fellow Republicans have weighed in on Pete Buttigieg's track record of failing to step up to the task during multiple occasions. They cited everything from the supply chain crisis in the US last year, to the railroad labor strike.
The Transport Secretary, they emphasized, had been conspicuously "absent during a historical supply chain crisis when United States ports faced a record backlog of ships stranded off of United States coasts." They recalled how "more than 15,000 flights" had been canceled under his watch in "the worst and most costly single airline operational disruption in the history of United States aviation."
Waltz and the Republicans said Buttigieg "neglected his duties and left the country to vacation in Portuguese wine country amidst ongoing negotiations of an impending railroad labor strike, leaving Congress to act in order to prevent the impending rail workers strike."

"Whether it’s waiting weeks to visit East Palestine, vacationing in Portuguese wine country during vital union negotiations, his extended absence during one of the largest shipping crises we’ve faced, or his failure to prevent massive aviation groundings, Secretary Buttigieg has shown an inability to carry out the duties of his office," Michael Waltz also told media.

President Joe Biden listens as Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks during an event about strengthening the supply chain with improvements in the trucking industry, on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 4, 2022.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.01.2023
Beavis and Buttigieg: Biden Transport Chief's Biggest Blunders Amid FAA Meltdown
According to the Republican lawmakers, Pete Buttigieg "repeatedly demonstrated a gross level of incompetence and apathy in his role as Secretary of Transportation" and "has lost the confidence of the American people."
The resolution comes as in the Senate, Democrats and Republicans are co-sponsoring legislation aimed at tightening railroad safety requirements after the Ohio train crash and the release of toxic chemicals that ensued. The Railway Safety Act of 2023 is a bipartisan bill introduced by Ohio Senators JD Vance, a Republican, and Sherrod Brown, a Democrat. In accordance with the legislation, railroads would be required to establish emergency response plans, and inform local emergency response officials when trains with hazardous materials came through their jurisdictions.

"Through this legislation, Congress has a real opportunity to ensure that what happened in East Palestine will never happen again. We owe every American the peace of mind that their community is protected from a catastrophe of this kind," Vance told media.

Workers at disaster zone in East Palestine, Ohio. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.03.2023
East Palestine Residents Reportedly Suffering From ‘Chemical Bronchitis’ After Train Derailment
The Norfolk Southern train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, on February 3. About 20 of the roughly 150 train cars were carrying hazardous materials, including highly flammable vinyl chloride. They "subsequently ignited, fueling fires,” the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in its preliminary report. These carriages “continued to concern authorities because the temperature inside one tank car was still rising,” signaling a polymerization reaction that could result in an explosion, which prompted crews to release the chemical into a trench and burn it three days after the derailment to avoid an explosion, the findings stated.
The derailment was likely caused by an overheated wheel bearing on a railcar, according to the NTSB report. The incident resulted in evacuation orders for residents amid the toxic chemical scare, and a federal investigation into the causes of the accident.
Очистка частей грузового поезда Norfolk Southern, сошедшего с рельсов в пятницу вечером в Восточной Палестине, штат Огайо - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.02.2023
US National Safety Board: No Indication Driver of Crashed East Palestine Train Did Anything Wrong
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