Members of the House GOP are set to launch a probe into the chemical train derailment in Ohio. The Republicans have accused the Transportation Department of laxity and said Pete Buttigieg, the Transportation Secretary, had been too slow in his response.
Among other things, the House GOP has blasted Buttigieg for taking ten days to respond to the crisis and for visiting the town way later than expected. The secretary has conceded that he should have addressed the issue earlier and said that he learned a lesson from the issue. But he maintained that he had been focused on ensuring that employees of the department had all that they needed to handle the crisis.
The House GOP was led by Kentucky Rep. James Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. The Republicans have asked Buttigieg for the communications and documents linked to his reaction to the derailment.
The House GOP Has Accused Buttigieg Of Not Acting Quickly Enough
The House GOP has also asked him to produce documents and communication that detail the NTSB’s progress in investigating the cause of the accident. The Republicans have written to Buttigieg saying that the derailment was a public health and environmental emergency that threatens to spread across states. They maintained that despite the responsibility of Buttigieg’s department to ensure the reliability and safety of transportation across America, he did not respond to the disaster for more than a week.
House members representing the Republicans have said that Americans deserve a response to the derailment. They have also demanded an explanation from the transportation department for what they termed was the apathy shown by its leadership when faced with the emergency.
Buttigieg responded saying he was alarmed that the House GOP considered NTSB a part of the Transportation Department. He said that they were two independent bodies. But he also promised that his department would review the issue and react appropriately.