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House GOP effort to reduce Buttigieg's pay to $1 passes, other cuts to federal salaries fail

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., introduced an amendment to reduce the salary of Polly Trottenberg, deputy secretary of Transportation, to $1 but failed 318-112 with Republican and Democrat votes against it. On the other hand, a resolution to reduce Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg's salary to $1 was passed the GOP-led House.

Published: November 8, 2023 12:40am

House conservatives are continuing their push to defund the salaries of Biden Cabinet secretaries and their deputies.

An amendment to the transportation and housing appropriations bill in the House that would reduce Transportation Sec. Pete Buttigieg's salary to $1 passed the GOP-led House on Tuesday evening. 

The Buttigieg amendment was introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Conservatives have long been critical of Buttigieg's tenure as secretary, specifically his handling of the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment, as well as his support for the government incentivizing more electric vehicle adoption. He was also widely criticised for taking "maternity leave" after the birth of his adopted twins during the start of the "supply chain" crisis. 

"Pete Buttigieg doesn’t do his job. 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," Greene wrote on X after the vote on Tuesday night.

Rep, Troy Nehls, R-Texas, offered an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2024 reduce the annual salary of Ann E. Carlson, acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to $1. That amendment failed to pass 264-164 with Republicans and Democrats joining together to defeat it.

Embattled Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., introduced an amendment to reduce the salary of Polly Trottenberg, deputy secretary of Transportation to $1. It failed 318-112 with Republicans and Democrats voting against it.

Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., proposed cutting the salary of Julia Gordon, assistant secretary for Housing and the Federal Housing Commissioner, to $1. It too failed, 272-155 with both Republicans and Democrats voting against it.

According to the amendments filed as of Tuesday afternoon, Greene had proposed a separate amendment to reduce the salary of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge to $1. It was later crossed out and listed as "not offered," according to an official House Republican webpage.

House conservatives were able to include the "Holman Rule" in the GOP conference rules package that was adopted under former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for the current session of Congress. The rule allows lawmakers to insert provisions into appropriations bills to fire individual federal officials or strip their salaries.

Some conservative Republicans previously introduced amendments to defund the salaries of top Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials in a separate appropriations bill but they were rejected by both Republican and Democratic members.

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