House Republicans will launch an inquiry into Pete Buttigieg’s handling of a train derailment in East Pasgerline, Ohio — the latest spark in bipartisan tension surrounding the event.
In a letter to Buttigieg dated Friday (February 24), Republicans in the House Oversight and Reform Committee shared concerns about the Department of Transportation’s “slow pace” in enacting a resolution for the incident.
The letter noted that the derailment is a public health and environmental emergency that “threatens Americans across state lines.”
The 21 Republicans who signed the letter explained that although it was the Department of Transportation’s responsibility to “ensure safe and reliable transport in the United States,” Buttigieg “ignored the catastrophe for over a week.”
The House Republicans also demanded the DOT reveal to the American people the cause of the incident as they “deserve to know,” while requesting accountability for the Department’s “apathy” about the emergency.
The group requested Buttigieg provide documentation showing when he learned about the derailment in addition to a progress report showing the National Transport Safety Board’s (NTSB) progress in determining what caused the incident.
In Friday’s letter, they also requested Buttigieg provide a report on how the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has handled the hazardous materials leaked because of the derailment.
In response to the letter, Buttigieg tweeter that
he was “alarmed” that the Chair of the House Oversight Committee thought the NTSB, an independent body, was part of his Department.
However, he added, he would still “fully review” the letter “and respond accordingly.”