Lloyd Austin Is The Latest Example Of The Biden Administration’s Dangerous AWOL Problem
- January 12, 2024
Tristan Justice, The Federalist
Apparently, the 81-year-old president had no idea the nation was without a defense chief for three days. It’s not the first time a cabinet official has gone missing during a crisis.
White House officials going missing has become routine as the administration continues to be characterized by disarray under the octogenarian commander-in-chief, who is currently asking Americans for a second term. Recall that President Biden and then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki were on vacation while the American withdrawal from Afghanistan deteriorated into a global humiliation.
In January last year, records obtained and made public by the nonprofit government watchdog Protect the Public’s Trust (PPT) revealed Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was completely absent during the supply-chain crisis of 2021. As Congress put together a trillion-dollar infrastructure package in the fall, a bottleneck supply-chain crisis on the West Coast threatened to spoil the holiday season. The transportation secretary, however, went on an eight-week parental leave. While 9 out of 10 new fathers typically take leave, an overwhelming majority, 70 percent, take 10 days or less, according to the Department of Labor.
Records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by PPT show Buttigieg used his paternity leave to dodge public appearances and meetings with congressional lawmakers. While the nation grappled with struggling supply chains, bipartisan infrastructure talks ultimately led to more than $100 billion in funding for Buttigieg’s department. Emails show aides to the transportation secretary cited paternity leave to skip a meeting with Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley at the time to discuss a bridge project in the Midwest.