The White House on Tuesday continued to defend Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg for remaining on paternity leave, as cargo ships wait outside the nation’s ports and the supply chain crisis continues.
Psaki claimed that Buttigieg was working, but would not say when he would physically come back to work in the Department of Transportation building.
Asked by Newsmax reported Emerald Robinson whether Buttigieg had left a “point person” in charge during his absence, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Buttigieg’s work was being handled by a “range of officials.”
“There are a range of officials leading different components of the department of transpiration including the chief of staff, the deputy secretary of transportation, a range of officials who keep that place humming, functioning every day,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied, when asked about when Buttigieg would return.
The secretary took off two months of paternity leave, after he and Chasten adopted twin babies in mid-August. He plans to continue to take leave despite the controversy over his extended time away from work. Buttigieg convened a meeting about the cargo crisis in July, but it has only become worse.
When asked by Robinson when Buttigieg would return to work, Psaki argued that “he’s at work.”
“I was on a conference call with him this morning,” she said.
She reiterated that the Biden Administration continued to support paid paternity leave, and that the Department of Transportation could operate smoothly while he was gone.
“We are quite confident in the capabilities the talents of the civil servants, the leadership at the Department of Transportation just as we are at companies across the country where women, men take maternity and paternity leave,” she said.
A recent Rasmussen poll showed that Buttigieg had only a 37 percent favorable rating and that most Americans believed he should return to work.
The survey of 1,000 U.S. likely voters was conducted on October 17-18, 2021 with a +/- margin of error.