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Pete Buttigieg Makes Clear He Still Won't Be Doing His Taxpayer Funded Job

(Stefani Reynolds/Pool via AP)

After secretly taking two months of paternity leave without appointing an acting secretary, in the middle of a supply chain crisis, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has declared he will continue to focus on issues unrelated to his taxpayer funded job. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is aiming to use the fierce criticism he faced from conservatives over taking paternity leave as a way to have a conversation about the issue, amid efforts from the White House to get paid family leave into a social spending bill pending in Congress.

“The negativity was unfortunate but, in a way, maybe some good comes out of it too because it’s helped us have a conversation about parental leave,” Buttigieg said this week.

During an interview Sunday on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Buttigeig said that “paid family leave is important” and noted that “it’s not a vacation.” Separately, on CNN's “State of the Union,” he said it’s work that “every American ought to be able to do” when they have a new child.

 He has stressed that paid leave is still work when asked on ABC's "The View" how to shed the stigma around paternity leave.

The criticism of Buttigieg isn't about the issue of paternity leave, it's the fact that the former mayor isn't doing his job as a Cabinet secretary in a time of crisis. His position doesn't involve advocating for paternity leave, but instead figuring out how to get nearly hundreds-of-thousands of shipping containers -- currently sitting at ports -- unloaded and moved to market as quickly as possible. 

Meanwhile, small business across the country are getting pounded by the supply chain crisis. 

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