Dalila Ali Rajah
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Pete Buttigieg Fires Back at GOP Rep. Questioning Biden's Health

Texas Republican Rep. Troy Nehls and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sparred with a Republican after he asked whether the Cabinet had considered removing president Joe Biden via the 25th Amendment, which allows the vice president and senior officials to strip the president of office if the president cannot fulfill their duties. 

House Transportation Committee members heard from Buttigieg on Tuesday about several infrastructure topics, but the hearing took a turn when Texas Rep. Troy Nehls accused Biden of being mentally unfit for office.

During hour four of the hearing, Nehls, having just asked Buttigieg about airspace restrictions above Disney's amusement parks, then asked the secretary if he had discussed removing the president from office with other cabinet members. 

Nehls took out an enlarged photo of Biden with a caption making fun of the president's stutter. He then claimed that the media had begun questioning Biden's mental health. 

"Sadly, he shakes hands with ghosts and imaginary people, and he falls off bicycles," said Nehls, referring to the president's fall last month near his vacation home in Delaware, where he took a harmless spill after a cycling shoe got stuck in the bike pedal clip. As he spoke, a group of people held images of Biden and the Easter Bunny at the White House behind Nehls.

"Have you spoken to cabinet members about implementing the 25th Amendment on President Biden?" he asked.

"First of all, I'm glad to have a president who can ride a bicycle," Buttigieg replied. "And, I will look beyond the insulting nature of that question and make clear to you that the president of the United States …"

Nehls interrupted him, and repeated the question. Buttigieg muttered, "Of course not," before concluding the president "…is as vigorous a colleague or boss as I have ever had the pleasure of working with."

Eventually, Nehls' time ran out, and the committee chairman, N.J. Rep. Tom Malinowski, a Democrat, cut him off.

When Buttigieg said he couldn't hear Nehls' final comments, the representative inquired with the chairperson.

"Will you yield me one minute, sir?" Nehls asked.

"Absolutely not," Malinowski replied, incensed. "If you had yielded the secretary some time to actually answer the ridiculous question, you might have actually gotten something."

Biden's critics, including former president Donald Trump and Republicans who support him, have brought up Biden's stuttering, verbal slips, and falls as evidence of mental unfitness, according to the Washington Post. However, as the paper notes, Biden has always been known for making gaffes, and he grew up with and overcame a speech impediment. There is no evidence that suggests he is suffering from any major health problems.

During the Trump administration, the former president claimed to have a "big brain" and touted his performance on a cognitive testIt paved new ground in the history of campaigns for the highest office in the land for a commander in chief to repeatedly tout his performance on an examination to prove he has not lost a step. 

The former president discussed doing well on it during several television interviews at the time, claiming that he could still recall the five words he had been asked to remember for the test.

Proudly, Trump said, "Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV. Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV."

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