Election 2024

Buttigieg slams Republicans for having no plan to fight inflation as it becomes their top issue

Secretary Pete Buttigieg
Secretary Pete Buttigieg Photo: Shutterstock

In a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, out Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg called out Republicans for never proposing solutions to the problems they complain about.

“Many congressional Republicans take stances that seem to be more about the problem than about the solution.”

“Even the things that they talk about the most often,” Buttigieg told Colbert. “Immigration, inflation, I mean of all the things that congressional Republicans have proposed, policy wise, can anybody name the top five things that they’ve suggested to fight inflation? Can anyone name three? How about one?”

“They voted no on the inflation reduction act that was about lowering prices for Americans, and I would have loved nothing more than to have a debate between the Democratic Inflation Reduction Act and the Republican Inflation Reduction Act on [floor of the House] and Senate and argued over which one was better, but there was only one and it was ours, and luckily it passed.”

The conversation began with Colbert asking Buttigieg if he finds it frustrating to see Republican members of Congress who voted against his infrastructure bill (that passed in late 2021) celebrating when they win funding for their districts as a direct result.

Buttigieg said he thinks it’s a positive thing that the bill’s opponents are starting to see why it is important. He added that more than anything, the people of their communities deserve the benefits, no matter how they voted.

“It is striking that people went to the floor of the House or Senate and said, ‘no, this infrastructure funding should not happen’ and then they can’t wait to be there when that funding is coming to their district,” he said.

“But there’s nothing better than seeing a skeptic become a convert. I call it the sincerest form of flattery if someone was against your policy and then when it’s actually benefitting people who live in their communities they can’t hug you close enough.”

“And I’ll say this, I mean politics aside, the people who live in those communities shouldn’t be punished because their senator or their house member said no to this funding. We’re gonna serve everybody equally.”

Colbert said he was not surprised to hear that he kept the best interests of the American people as his first priority.

“Thanks,” Buttigieg said. “I’d like to think that’s how we think about things.”

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