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Marjorie Taylor Greene and House Republicans Are Trying to Cut Pete Buttigieg's Salary to $1 a Year

Pete Buttigieg and Marjorie Taylor Greene
Photos courtesy of the subjects

The noted homophobe Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is critical of Pete Buttigieg's use of government aircraft, saying he's flying to receive awards "for the way people have sex."

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U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her fellow Republicans in the U.S. House want to reduce Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s salary to $1 a year, and Greene is using homophobia to promote the move, saying he’s receiving awards “for the way people have sex.”

Greene, an often-outrageous right-winger from Georgia and a frequent critic of Buttigieg, proposed an amendment to a spending bill that would cut Buttigieg’s salary to that level, and it passed on a voice vote Tuesday, Politico reports. The overall bill still awaits a House vote, and it has no chance of passing in the Democratic-majority Senate, plus President Joe Biden would never sign such a bill into law. But Greene and her allies are simply out to make a point.

“Pete Buttigieg doesn’t do his job,” the congresswoman wrote on X, formerly Twitter. “It’s all about fake photo ops and taxpayer-funded private jet trip to accept LGBTQ awards for him. I’m happy my amendment passed, but he doesn’t deserve a single penny.”

In a speech on the House floor, she went further. “Pete Buttigieg has reportedly taken at least 18 taxpayer-funded flights on private jets managed by the [Federal Aviation Administration],” she said. “One of these flights was taken to receive an award from the Canadian gay rights organization for advancing LGBTQ rights. American taxpayers don’t want to pay for Pete Buttigieg to get awards for the way people have sex.”

Related: Watch Lesbian Rep. Becca Balint Call Out Homophobe Marjorie Taylor Greene on House Floor

The Department of Transportation announced in February that it was reviewing Buttigieg’s use of FAA aircraft at the request of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican. It is also looking into the use of FAA planes by Elaine Chao, who was Transportation secretary during Donald Trump’s administration and is married to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

When the review was announced, Buttigieg had flown on FAA planes 18 times out of 138 flights for official trips since becoming secretary early in 2021, according to The Washington Post.He takes commercial flights most of the time, and when he uses FAA aircraft, it’s usually because it’s cheaper than commercial flights, a Department of Transportation spokeswoman said.

The review will “put some of the false, outlandish, and cynical claims about the secretary’s mode of travel to rest,” spokeswoman Kerry Arndt told the Post.

Transportation officials also said the total cost of Buttigieg’s flights on FAA planes up to that time was about $42,000. Chao took 15 FAA flights early in the Trump administration, and the cost of just one of them, which was international, was nearly $69,000, the Post reports.

When Buttigieg, the first out gay Cabinet member confirmed by the Senate, received the award in Canada, he was representing the U.S. at the International Civil Aviation Organization General Assembly last year in Montreal. While he was there, Quebec LGBTQ+ organization Fondation Émergence presented him with the Laurent McCutcheon Award, which goes to someone who has contributed significantly to the advancement of LGBTQ+ rights. Laurent McCutcheon was the founding president of Fondation Émergence and the creator of the National Day Against Homophobia, now known as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

In her rambling remarks to the House, Greene also criticized Buttigieg for his response to the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio (he has apologized for his delay in visiting the site), and for promoting initiatives to address climate change and make sure all Americans have access to efficient transportation regardless of race. Buttigieg “doesn’t care about Americans in rural America,” she said. “He’s more interested in declaring that roads are built on skin color and racism.”

So far Buttigieg hasn’t responded publicly to Greene.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.