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Buttigieg faces test as supply chains falter

WASHINGTON — As the White House struggles to repair the nation’s broken supply chains ahead of the holiday shopping rush, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is facing his first major test as a Cabinet secretary.

On Wednesday, President Biden announced a plan to ease supply chain bottlenecks by keeping the Port of Los Angeles, which accounts for nearly half of all shipping containers entering the U.S., operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“If federal support is needed, I will direct all appropriate action. And if the private sector doesn’t step up, we’re going to call them out and ask them to act,” Biden said during remarks delivered from the White House.

“The bottom line, we’ve seen the cost of inaction in the pandemic,” the president added as Buttigieg looked on. “It is fully within our capacity to act, to make sure it never happens again. It’s going to take a little time, that we’ve unlocked the full might and dynamism of our people.”

​​Over the past several months Buttigieg has been tasked with coordinating with private companies across the trade and transportation sector to try to alleviate the backlog at the nation’s ports. Biden has voiced his resounding support of Buttigieg in his capacity as secretary, thanking him as a key negotiator during his remarks Wednesday.

Since his appointment to head the Department of Transportation, Buttigieg, the former South Bend, Ind., mayor turned presidential candidate, has largely steered clear of controversy and scrutiny. But with the nation’s supply chains backed up as the economy emerges from the coronavirus pandemic, he has come in for blistering criticism from Republicans.

“Pete Buttigieg is completely unqualified to handle the supply chain crisis. The only reason he's the Secretary of Transportation is because he endorsed Joe Biden. Even Pete knows it,” frequent Biden critic Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted Wednesday.

Last week, with the fate of the president’s Build Back Better infrastructure plan in doubt, Biden appointed Buttigieg to co-chair a Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to address the backlog at the ports. And on Wednesday, Buttigieg joined Vice President Kamala Harris and senior economic adviser Brian Deese in a virtual roundtable with relevant sector contributors.

But the Transportation Department had already spent months attempting to tackle backlog issues at the California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In July, Buttigieg hosted another roundtable that focused on how increased consumer demand would affect already overburdened supply chains. Yet actual solutions proved somewhat elusive.

“For our economy to fully recover, we now need our vital supply chains to operate smoothly and without avoidable congestion,” Buttigieg said at the time.

While the U.S. economic picture continued to brighten heading into the fall, the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus kept demand at a modest pace. Yet shipping logjams persisted.

An effective television surrogate for the administration, Buttigieg said in a Wednesday morning appearance on CNN that the White House was committed to repairing the nation’s overburdened supply chains. He also shifted some of the blame to Congress.

"We are relying on supply chains that were built generations ago. It's one of the reasons why this entire year we have been talking about and working on infrastructure and are eager to see Congress act to get this infrastructure deal through,” Buttigieg said, adding, "That's what the president has directed us to do, and that's part of why we're gathering right here at the White House with leaders from the ports of L.A. and Long Beach, labor leaders and the private-sector companies that, you know, the FedExes, UPSes, Walmarts, others who play that role on everything that happens between when something arrives on a ship and when it gets to the shelves so you can get it to your home."

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by Anonymousreply 71October 21, 2021 5:14 AM

But cable news appearances have not appeased everyone. Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré blasted the former mayor’s media appearances last week, tweeting that Buttigieg should “stop all the TV interviews and go to Ports and get this S..t fixed.”

Reacting to the slight, Buttigieg told MSNBC’s Geoff Bennett Wednesday that “it may not have been getting a lot of coverage, but we’ve been working on this from the very beginning. The president signed an executive order on this issue in February, and our department went to work right away.”

Still, the concern over Buttigieg’s relative lack of experience in handling supply chain issues comes as Biden’s approval ratings have fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency and the holiday shopping season is set to begin.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a Wednesday briefing to reporters that Biden has known “it was inevitable that there would be economic challenges” coming out of quarantine. As a result, the availability of toys, appliances, furniture and other goods was likely to be affected by heightened demand and inadequate shipping capabilities. For this reason, Psaki said, the president had decided to make “critical” commitments at the Port of Los Angeles that would have “immediate impact” for Americans. Psaki declined to say when those backlogs might be resolved.

“We are not the Postal Service,” she said, yet “we can use every lever at the federal government’s disposal to reduce delays.”

In an interview with Bloomberg earlier in the week, however, Buttigieg delivered a less optimistic view, saying, “Some of this is a bigger-picture, longer-term issue that’s going to take years and years to address.”

by Anonymousreply 1October 14, 2021 4:12 PM

Ruh Roh.

Chasten might not be the First Lady of Transportation for long!

by Anonymousreply 2October 14, 2021 4:12 PM

Aw, he looks like an angry toddler in OP’s photo.

by Anonymousreply 3October 14, 2021 4:15 PM

[quote] “Pete Buttigieg is completely unqualified to handle the supply chain crisis. The only reason he's the Secretary of Transportation is because he endorsed Joe Biden. Even Pete knows it,” frequent Biden critic Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted Wednesday.

What a jealous closeted queen.

by Anonymousreply 4October 14, 2021 4:16 PM

[quote] Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré blasted the former mayor’s media appearances last week, tweeting that Buttigieg should “stop all the TV interviews and go to Ports and get this S..t fixed.”

He should have said, "GET YOUR BUTTI IN GEAR!"

by Anonymousreply 5October 14, 2021 4:17 PM

Hey, Pete! We need our chicken pate canned cat food out here in Calif!

by Anonymousreply 6October 14, 2021 4:37 PM

I'm sure he's been working on it for months.

by Anonymousreply 7October 14, 2021 4:49 PM

As an outsider I'm stunned that the main ports on the West Coast have never been open 24/7. Come on 'merica drag yourself into the 21st century!!

by Anonymousreply 8October 14, 2021 4:51 PM

he's got a couple new kids so. . . .

by Anonymousreply 9October 14, 2021 4:53 PM

[quote] he's got a couple new kids so. . . .

Plus, he has autographs to sign and talk shows to do!

And then there's the "Buttigieg 2028" campaign.

by Anonymousreply 10October 14, 2021 5:03 PM

I have to assume they have been doing things behind the scenes but then wouldn't they have told us. I can't believe all they've done so far is start a 24/7 operation at one port.

It MUST be more than this and talking.

I hope no one lives near that port. They'll never sleep.

This is something the military used to do with amazing efficiency. I mean they shipped hundreds of thousands of troops and material all over the world in the mid 1940s if people will recall and they did it in the midst of a world war, with no modern technology and equipment.

by Anonymousreply 11October 14, 2021 6:02 PM

Pete's collapse is complete.

He will never be President.

by Anonymousreply 12October 14, 2021 6:23 PM

Someone should clue Honoré in on the fact that the supply chain issues are global.

by Anonymousreply 13October 14, 2021 6:23 PM

[quote] Someone should clue Honoré in on the fact that the supply chain issues are global

True, but Pete is in charge of OUR supply chain.

So he's responsible.

by Anonymousreply 14October 14, 2021 6:28 PM

Responsible for something that only time can fix? They can clear every cargo ship out of the harbor to tomorrow and we'll have the same issues in a month because the world is competing for resources that are fairly scare in the near term.

by Anonymousreply 15October 14, 2021 6:33 PM

Excuses, excuses R15.

Good thing he's not President, or all we would hear are more excuses for why shit isn't getting done.

by Anonymousreply 16October 14, 2021 6:38 PM

R16, it's called reality you partisan piece of shit.

by Anonymousreply 17October 14, 2021 6:39 PM

[quote] ... the world is competing for resources that are fairly scar[c]e in the near term.

R15, why is chicken pate canned cat food fairly scarce in the near term?

by Anonymousreply 18October 14, 2021 6:46 PM

Because there are global labor and resource shortages up and down the supply chain.

by Anonymousreply 19October 14, 2021 6:50 PM

The reason why opening these two ports, LA and Long Beach, is that they handle so much of our imports. Asian imports would have to go through the Panama Canal, a bottleneck and extra expense in time and usage fees.

The ports of LA and Long Beach are owned and operated by their respective cities and haven’t been opened 24 hours a day on their instructions. The unionized port workers have wanted to open up round the clock, it’s in their contract so blame it on the administrations of those two cities.

by Anonymousreply 20October 14, 2021 6:54 PM
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by Anonymousreply 21October 14, 2021 11:26 PM

R21, the vile Republicunt who wrote that piece -- Joe Concha -- is a vile Fox News contributor. Consider your sources.

by Anonymousreply 22October 14, 2021 11:33 PM

He certainly has a most punchable face though.

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by Anonymousreply 23October 14, 2021 11:39 PM

I'm a lesbian and Pete has never impressed me, so this is no surprise. Between Pete and Kamala, I don't know which one is more annoying. This is what happens when you choose people based on the demographic they appeal to as opposed to the skill sets they bring to the table.

by Anonymousreply 24October 14, 2021 11:49 PM

While U.S. ports faced anchor-to-anchor traffic and Congress nearly melted down over the president’s infrastructure bill in recent weeks, the usually omnipresent Transportation secretary was lying low.

One of the White House’s go-to communicators didn’t appear on TV. He was absent on Capitol Hill during the negotiations over the bill he had been previously helping sell to different members of Congress. Conservative critics tried (unsuccessfully) to get #WheresPete to trend and Fox News ran a story on October 4 with the headline: “Buttigieg quiet on growing port congestion as shipping concerns build ahead of holidays.”

They didn’t previously announce it, but Buttigieg’s office told West Wing Playbook that the secretary has actually been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his husband, Chasten, and their two newborn babies.

“For the first four weeks, he was mostly offline except for major agency decisions and matters that could not be delegated,” said a spokesperson for the Department of Transportation. “He has been ramping up activities since then.” As he does that, Buttigieg will “continue to take some time over the coming weeks to support his husband and take care of his new children,” the spokesperson added.

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by Anonymousreply 25October 15, 2021 12:02 AM

[quote] I'm a lesbian and Pete has never impressed me, so this is no surprise.

Before I knew who he was a few years ago, I heard an interview with him on NPR. I wanted to like him but there's not a lot to him.

by Anonymousreply 26October 15, 2021 12:06 AM

R24 As a lesbian Warren voter, you probably have your own annoying preferences and biases.

by Anonymousreply 27October 15, 2021 12:08 AM

She's a lesbian Warren voter, so you can tell she has an annoying preference for competent, experienced public servants with deep knowledge about the subjects on which they speak.

by Anonymousreply 28October 15, 2021 12:11 AM

Hire more dock and warehouse workers. Win-win.

by Anonymousreply 29October 15, 2021 12:20 AM

R28 As long as they're women.

by Anonymousreply 30October 15, 2021 12:37 AM

[quote] They didn’t previously announce it, but Buttigieg’s office told West Wing Playbook that the secretary has actually been on paid leave since mid-August to spend time with his husband, Chasten, and their two newborn babies.


That's just bullshit.

In the middle of a supply crisis.

Biden should fire his ass.

If Rachel wants a fucking news story, THIS is it.

by Anonymousreply 31October 15, 2021 12:52 AM

Too bad Warren didn't win. She would have had a trans child choose the Secretary of Transportation.

by Anonymousreply 32October 15, 2021 1:00 AM

People want too much stuff. So much of it on those ships isn't necessary.

by Anonymousreply 33October 15, 2021 1:02 AM

This better not effect the arrival of my new Apple Watch, or I’ll have Pete’s ass in a sling.

by Anonymousreply 34October 15, 2021 1:03 AM

R34 I rest my case.

by Anonymousreply 35October 15, 2021 1:10 AM

What kind of fools are all of you people?

Supply-chain issues are the primary domain of the Secretary of Commerce, who’s name 90-percent of you won’t know without having to look up.

Trade and the movement of goods are the primary concern of that cabinet Secretary.

But continue to hate on…

by Anonymousreply 36October 15, 2021 2:07 AM


by Anonymousreply 37October 15, 2021 2:22 AM

[quote] But continue to hate on…

A successful gay man. Thus an object of derision for the rightwing-minded. If you check out the piece written by Concha (I don't recommend wasting your time), he drips with scorn and scoffs at Pete being a dad -- despite parading his own crotchfruit on his Twitter.

by Anonymousreply 38October 15, 2021 2:29 AM

Stock up on food( pet and human). It’s going to get scary .

by Anonymousreply 39October 15, 2021 2:32 AM

[quote] [R28] As long as they're women.

And if all straight women had that same bias, and voted only for competent women like lesbians do, the world would be a better place.

by Anonymousreply 40October 15, 2021 2:40 AM

Lordy, straight women, lesbians, but all of you lifelong Democrats!*

It’s like the gotdamned Rainbow Coalition up on here so obviously Mayo Pete is a piece of shit!**

by Anonymousreply 41October 15, 2021 2:50 AM

What can Buttigieg do about a worldwide shortage of container ships, crews and truck drivers? I don’t know. He’s be better off finding the cure for Covid, then raising the minimum wage. Neither has anything to do with Buttigieg.

by Anonymousreply 42October 15, 2021 7:14 PM

[quote] What can Buttigieg do about a worldwide shortage of container ships, crews and truck drivers?

Stay at home playing with his new baby, and his fat husband.

Of course.

There's absolutely nothing he can do about it. *rolling eyes into the back of my head*

by Anonymousreply 43October 15, 2021 7:16 PM

I’m sure Chasten lost the baby weight by now.

by Anonymousreply 44October 15, 2021 10:49 PM

he actually looks less like alfred e neuman there.

good for him.

by Anonymousreply 45October 15, 2021 11:50 PM

Is that a hairpiece up front?

by Anonymousreply 46October 15, 2021 11:53 PM

Lol, so I guess he’s being set up as the fall guy for this. Who set him up? My guess is Kamala.

by Anonymousreply 47October 15, 2021 11:59 PM

[quote]Aw, he looks like an angry toddler in OP’s photo.

He looks Butch-y.

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by Anonymousreply 48October 16, 2021 12:06 AM

[quote] Imports at the Port of Los Angeles – the No. 1 gateway for ocean trade with China – are up 30% so far this year over last year’s record.

Last year was a record and imports are up 30% over that. Trump and Elaine Chao couldn't have handled this either. You want to blame someone, blame ourselves for continuing to buy buy buy crap from Asia.

Of course if Trump had brought back manufacturing to the US like he promised, this wouldn't be a problem but only fools believe Trump's promises.

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by Anonymousreply 49October 16, 2021 12:37 AM

uh oh....Little Petey is about to get called to testify!!!.....This will not go over well with Biden....Seeing Pete try to justify a paid12 WEEK leave after being on the job only 27 WEEKS will reek of entitlement and arrogance!!!....

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by Anonymousreply 50October 17, 2021 3:36 AM

If Pete has to testify before Congress I hope he throws Gina (what's her name) Sec of Comm under the bus, as well as all you lot who buy piles of shit at Christmas.

by Anonymousreply 51October 17, 2021 5:13 AM

The anti-Pete troll has shown in at R50. Complete with the ellipses, CAPITALIZATION, and the extra !!!

Matt, reign yourself in or I will call your mother. She still supplies you with your allowance and I will wreck your world if you act up here.

by Anonymousreply 52October 17, 2021 5:15 AM

I hope it's not true that he took 2 months off for paternity leave. That is seriously fucked and is taking advantage of leave that was not meant as an added vacation.

If he did this then my respect for him - whatever it was - has taken a nose dive.

by Anonymousreply 53October 17, 2021 6:52 AM

I think Buttigieg will leave politics before this administration is over. It will dawn on him he is going to need to earn more $'s than government work will pay him, to live in DC and raise two children and support Chasten while they raise two kids. They are living in a one bedroom apartment now, at some point they are going to need at least a three bedroom home.

by Anonymousreply 54October 18, 2021 1:18 AM

"Reign yourself in," R52? Wow -- I remember when I used to think you were somewhat intelligent.

by Anonymousreply 55October 18, 2021 2:53 AM

R54, there is no reason why he can't afford a larger place than a one bedroom. His salary is certainly high enough for a larger home. If anyone is claiming that, they are full of shit or too pretentious for words. He does not have to live in the most expensive neighborhood or have the biggest house. Plenty of affordable housing in the area for him and his family.

by Anonymousreply 56October 18, 2021 3:16 AM

157 ships at LA and Long Beach.

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by Anonymousreply 57October 20, 2021 2:43 PM

Spin spin spin

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by Anonymousreply 58October 20, 2021 2:47 PM
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by Anonymousreply 59October 20, 2021 2:48 PM

OMG how tone-deaf. Jesus.

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by Anonymousreply 60October 20, 2021 2:49 PM

What a time to go on leave.

by Anonymousreply 61October 20, 2021 2:51 PM

Pete is headed to The View for a gabfest with the ladies. When does this guy WORK? He loves his media appearances and to go on and on, but the question remains: between his surreptitious 2 month paternal leave and showing up on tv, podcasts, print and now a film! here, there and everywhere, when is he able to get to his job?

by Anonymousreply 62October 20, 2021 2:54 PM

This is intentional. I'm convinced. Creating misery so we blame others: the retailers, the manufacturers, China.

by Anonymousreply 63October 20, 2021 2:54 PM

Blah blah blah.

How are shipments moving faster than ever now? How do people have more money than ever now and willing to spend it?

While all this has been going on he took leave? What a douchebag.

Bye, Felicia

by Anonymousreply 64October 20, 2021 4:12 PM

Why aren't we using the military to assist?

by Anonymousreply 65October 20, 2021 5:11 PM

R65, they were thinking the National Guard, but I bet it'd offend the unions, so Biden's not going to approve it.

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by Anonymousreply 66October 20, 2021 5:13 PM

[quote] Bye, Felicia

Eldergay at r64.

by Anonymousreply 67October 20, 2021 5:24 PM

Poor rodent!

by Anonymousreply 68October 20, 2021 7:09 PM

Having the military help would "offend" the unions? WTF? I am very very pro union but who the fuck cares. We are in a national emergency and if they can help then they should be used.

Hey maybe we can deploy them to toilet paper factories to help out there.

by Anonymousreply 69October 20, 2021 7:51 PM
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by Anonymousreply 70October 20, 2021 8:28 PM

^Jeez those figures in the article look very sad.

by Anonymousreply 71October 21, 2021 5:14 AM
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