News Worms
News Worms

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

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

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the committee's ranking Democrat, sent letters Tuesday to the White House (PDF) and 24 federal agencies (PDF) to request additional information on when Price took chartered flights and for what goal.

Politico focused on two lightly-scheduled trips, which an HHS official said were both official government business and paid for by the department: A June 6 jaunt to Nashville, where Price owns a condo, and an August 4 trip to St. Simons Island, Georgia, where he owns land. "I will tell you I am not happy with it".

"On September 19th, Politico reported that you had chartered a private jet on several short official trips, including a $25,000 private flight from Washington, Philadelphia and back - a trip that would at most cost $725 round-trip on a commercial airline", the letter reads. President Trump is urging House Republicans to support his American Health Care Act.

The president appeared to suggest that he would considering firing Price, saying, "I'm going to look at it" after a reporter asked about Price's future, though it was not completely clear whether Trump was answering that direct question.

Last week, when stories first emerged about travel by Price on charter flights, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services defended his decision to take private jets instead of commercial flights.

According to a former Obama administration official who is in close touch multiple Health and Human Services officials in the building, there has been growing frustration with each new report of Price's private charter plane use.

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

Trump added: "I am not happy about it". He actually gets very unfair press in that regard.

"We'll see", Mr. Trump said. As HHS secretary, he has questioned whether the Medicaid health insurance program for low-income people delivers results that are worth the billions of dollars taxpayers spend for the coverage.

Democrats also pounced, with former colleagues in the Congress calling for Price's resignation.

Trump's displeasure with Price could also stem from the GOP's failed attempts to replace Obamacare. The exceptions are when they are traveling with the president or vice president, who fly aboard government planes.


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