U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was blunt about what it will take to avoid a government shutdown. He told Dana Bash Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” “So, the American people don’t want a shutdown. From what I can tell, the Senate is ready to go. The administration is ready to go. House Republicans need to come to their senses and keep the government running.”
Otherwise, the public could start to feel the consequences of a government shutdown in numerous key ways, including air travel. Buttigieg pointed out that the government is trying to “grow the workforce” of air traffic controllers, but a shutdown would “stop us in our tracks.”
“A shutdown would slow down our progress modernizing technology, at the exact moment when we need to do it,” he said. “And, again, I’m just giving you some examples out of the transportation space.”
The problems could extend well beyond transportation, Buttigieg noted, saying, “Across the country, so many impacts would be felt. This has to be avoided.” Buttigieg also said that the daycare his children attend will close in the event of a government shutdown — something that federal employees across the United States will also face.
Buttigieg spoke about President Joe Biden’s planned visit to Detroit in support of striking auto workers on Tuesday. Former President Donald Trump has claimed that Biden is only making the trip because Trump did it first, something that Buttigieg denied.
“No, President Biden is doing what he has always done, which is to stand with American workers,” Buttigieg said. “He is proud of being the most pro-union, pro-worker president, not only compared to the Trump administration with its anti-union policies, but really compared to any modern president.”