Fiscal Scold Tom Price Rode Military Jets to Europe & Asia for Over $500,000
Remember this is the guy who is worried about out of control spending in Washington. He ran on that in 2010 when he first came to Congress.
“Before he joined the Trump administration, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price made something of a name for himself by advocating for cutting wasteful government spending. So you can imagine the reaction when it was revealed earlier this week that Price has been chartering private jets and using military planes on the taxpayer dime to the tune of $1 million. And there’s no shortage of tweets about Tom Price’s plane usage to point out the irony and hypocrisy of his actions — using his own words.”
“Politico broke the news on Sept. 21 that Price used private jets at least 24 timessince early May. While initially it looked like Price had charged roughly $300,000 worth of private travel to taxpayers, Politico has since reported that Price not only spent over $400,000 on chartered domestic flights (including a flight to go have lunch with his son) — he also took military jets on long international flights with his wife. A spokesperson for HHS told Politico that Price had reimbursed the government for his wife’s travel expenses, but provided no proof.”
“As of Sept. 28, the amount Price has spent on travel, both domestically and overseas, exceeds $1 million. He has been HHS Secretary since February 2017.”
“Price released a statement on Sept. 28, saying that he will no longer take private planes while serving in an official capacity. (How brave.) He also said in the statement,”
“Today, I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes. The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes. No exceptions.”
“The language was deliberately opaque, but people easily honed in on the phrase “OWN SEAT.” And it has now been reported that Price will reimburse the government for less than $52,000. That’s about five percent of the total cost to taxpayers.”
Exactly. He’s leaving us with the cost of the rest of the plane. Again, his own words are what make this so embarrassing:
Reckless spending habits employed by Democrats in Washington are driving the debt. We need #spendingcutsnow
— Tom Price (@RepTomPrice) May 31, 2011
Now he’s wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars for his travel convenience. You know, as he flies around crusading on cutting the healthcare of millions.
Overall, Price owes us not $52,000 dollars but $1 million dollars.
“The White House approved the use of military aircraft for multi-national trips by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa and Europe this spring, and to Asia in the summer, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers.”
“The overseas trips bring the total cost to taxpayers of Price’s travels to more than $1 million since May, according to a POLITICO review.”
“Price pledged on Thursday to reimburse the government for the cost of his own seat on his domestic trips using private aircraft — reportedly around $52,000 — but that would not include the cost of the military flights.”
The most absurd part of it is Price’s explanation-that somehow this was necessary for him to do his job as HHS Secretary.
“HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest said Price has reimbursed the agency for the cost of his wife’s travel abroad, but declined to say when he did so. Price has been under intense criticism since POLITICO revealed his extensive use of charter aircraft for domestic flights last week. His travel expenditures are subject to reviews by the HHS inspector general and the House Oversight Committee. Democratic and Republican senators have also demanded information about Price’s travel expenditures.”
“The White House assesses the use of military aircraft for overseas travel by Cabinet members on a case-by-case basis. Secretaries whose jobs involve national security functions are more likely to require military jets, but the White House occasionally approves the use of military planes for other members of the Cabinet.”
“Use of military aircraft for Cabinet and other essential travelers is sometimes an appropriate and necessary use of resources,” said Raj Shah, White House principal deputy press secretary.
Ok. So give us a list of the previous HHS Secretaries who found private jet much less military jet necessary.
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