• January 17, 2023

Staff, Off the Press

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s husband, Chasten, came to the couple’s defense last week over criticism of the department chief’s prolonged absence during a critical time for the federal agency.

In the fall of 2021, as Congress was putting together a trillion-dollar infrastructure package, a bottleneck supply-chain crisis on the West Coast threatened to spoil the holiday season. During that time, Secretary Buttigieg took an eight-week parental leave. Though 9 out of 10 new dads typically take leave, an overwhelming majority of them (70 percent) take 10 days or less.

Internal records made public by a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and first reported by the Washington Examiner last week show Buttigieg excused himself from his executive duties citing his newborn twins. The secretary turned down public appearances and avoided a meeting request with a top Republican in the Senate, according to Fox News.

Michael Chamberlain, the director of Protect the Public’s Trust, which filed the request for records under the Freedom of Information Act, told The Federalist the documents were only released after the group filed a lawsuit. It filed the records request in December and was ultimately forced to sue for access in June last year.