Former Health Secretary: Price's use of chartered flights is 'stunning'

Ray Weaver
September 28, 2017

President Trump told reporters today that he's "not happy with" Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price over the multiple reports of his extensive private jet use.

The House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee opened an investigation on Wednesday into travel by top officials.

A former GOP congressman from Georgia, Price played a supporting role in the fruitless Republican effort to repeal Barack Obama's health care law, which has been another source of frustration for the president. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday at her daily press briefing that Price's travel was not approved by the White House, and was instead improve through HHS.

Price, who once railed against Democrats in Congress using private planes paid for with government funds, took a trip in August to the St. Simons Island resort in Georgia, where he and his wife Betty own land.

On Friday, the HHS inspector general said it "is conducting a review of Secretary Price's government travel using chartered aircraft".

"I have no idea who came up with this notion and where it came from, and the notion you could spend $400,000 in what, 5 months, is stunning", Sebelius told Bloomberg. Price is known as a conservative policy expert, but his penchant for taking private charter aircraft on the taxpayer's dime is creating new headaches for the White House.

"I'm not going to comment on that because the President hasn't commented publicly", Kellyanne Conway, a senior White House adviser, told reporters.

Politico reported earlier this month that Price had flown on a private charter plane-at the expense of taxpayers-at least 24 times since May, trips estimated to exceed $30,000.

A spokeswoman, Charmaine Yoest, said Price had once been delayed on a commercial flight and was forced to cancel a public event.

Politico threw another grenade at Price over his jet travel last night although it was lost in the hubbub over the Alabama Senate race. She also confirmed that the use of private planes had been suspended.

Two other members of Mr Trump's cabinet are also under scrutiny for their use of private planes while on the job. The exceptions are when they are traveling with the president or vice president, who fly aboard government planes.

Other reports by Insurance News

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