The credit for the last-minute deal to avert a national freight rail strike that would have disrupted supply chains and passenger travel is being given to Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh — after Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and President Joe Biden were both out of town during the crucial negotiations.
As Breitabrt News reported, Buttigieg and Biden were at the Detroit Auto Show on Wednesday, touting their support for electric vehicles, which receive billions of dollars in subsidies in the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” (which even some supporters acknowledge does nothing about short-term inflation).
Meanwhile, as the Washington Post reported, Secretary Walsh was dealing with the hard work of forging a compromise:
On Wednesday, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh is hosting emergency meetings of the rail carriers and unions to help broker a deal. But disruptions are already being felt. Amtrak said it is canceling all of its long-distance trains starting Thursday and other rail systems are bracing for shutdowns.
The impasse is tied to disagreements between management and labor over sick time and penalties for missing work, a politically challenging stalemate for President Biden, who aims to advocate for union workers but has prioritized untangling the nation’s besieged infrastructure in the covid era.
Buttigieg has a habit of being away or on leave. Last year, he took unannounced paternity leave during a cargo crisis. He volunteered for the U.S. Navy Reserve, though that commitment meant that he took a leave of absence as mayor of South Bend, Indiana.
Buttigieg has since transferred his residence to Michigan, where he is thought to have future political plans.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.