Trump 'not happy about' Price's taxpayer-funded private jet use

Trump 'not happy about' Price's taxpayer-funded private jet use

Ronald Pratt
September 28, 2017

Donald Trump's Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price used a jet paid for by the US government to visit locations where he owns properties, Politico reports.

Mr Trump said he was "looking into it" after reports emerged that Mr Price had taken 24 flights on private planes for official trips since May.

If ObamaCare repeal is dead for now, despite Trump's protests to the contrary, this would be a fine time for him to shed himself of Price's embarrassing private-jet shenanigans.

Asked if he will fire Price, Trump responded, "We'll see".

Price's travels were first reported last week by Politico, which said it had identified 26 charter flights at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The President's blunt words underscored his strong displeasure toward Price that could ultimately lead to his dismissal.

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, said in an interview Wednesday that while he had not yet had a chance to talk to Price, his practice of taking so many charter planes reflected "poor judgment".

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Senate Republicans can not afford to lose any more GOP defections, given the united Democratic resistance to the measure. The president followed up on the criticism via Twitter on Saturday morning.

During her tenure, Sebelius said, officials were required to travel commercially in economy class but were permitted to book business-class tickets if a flight lasted more than 12 consecutive hours.

Price said he would suspend his use of private planes while the OIG conducted its investigation.

Sebelius, who served as health secretary in the Obama administration, told Bloomberg reporters that while in office, she only took one chartered flight - to visit three remote villages in Alaska.

Trump's remarks were the latest example of the White House distancing itself from Price's actions.

A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday called for Price's resignation.

A small number of Cabinet members, military officials and law enforcement officials are allowed to travel on government planes for national security reasons. Price, after all, maintained a reputation on Capitol Hill of being a fiscal hardliner and constant voice admonishing wasteful government spending. The exceptions are when they are traveling with the president or vice president, who fly aboard government planes.