Private Jets For Tom Price Grounded While Inspector General Investigates Travel Spending

Syndicated from Kaiser Health News

“We’ve heard the criticism. We’ve heard the concerns. We take that very seriously and have taken it to heart,” says Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about reports that he has spent $300,000 on private airplanes for government travel.

The Associated Press:
Investigators Reviewing HHS Chief’s Private Charter Flights

Federal investigators are examining Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s recent use of costly charter flights on the taxpayers’ dime for official business. The HHS inspector general’s office said Friday the agency is reviewing Price’s charters to see if they violated government travel regulations, which generally require officials to minimize costs. (Alonso-Zaldivar, 9/22)

Politico:
Trump: ‘We’re Looking Into’ Price’s Use Of Private Planes

President Donald Trump on Sunday said his administration is looking into Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price’s use of private planes during his tenure in the Cabinet.” As far as Secretary Price is concerned, that’s diffNewspaper int. We’re looking into it,” Trump told reporters in Washington, according to a pool report. He was answering a question that also pertained to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. (Griffiths, 9/24)

The Hill:
Price Halts Use Of Private Jets During Investigations

Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price will cease using private charter jets to travel around the country in the midst of an investigation from the HHS Inspector General office on his travel expenditures. “We’ve heard the criticism. We’ve heard the concerns. We take that very seriously and have taken it to heart,” Price told Fox News Saturday.  “I don’t think there will be any charter trips until this review is complete. I think that’s appropriate because of the concerns that we’ve heard.” (Bowden, 9/23)

Politico:
Tom Price To Halt Taxpayer-Funded Travel On Private Jets

Price continued to take charter jets after a POLITICO investigation identified that the HHS secretary had been chartering private planes to conduct official business for months. The cost of his trips this past week was $56,500, according to a federal contract. (Diamond, 9/23)

The Hill:
HHS Employees Had To Watch Video About Dangers Of Leaking Information: Report 

Employees at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) were reportedly required to watch a 31 minute video on the dangers of leaking information as a part of training session aimed at combating leaks within the department. The video, which is dubbed “Insider Threat,” is narrated by the HHS Assistant Secretary for Administration John Bardis, according to BuzzFeed News. (Manchester, 9/22)

CQ:
HHS Inspector General Reviewing Price’s Travel

The inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department said Friday it will investigate the expensive use of private planes by department Secretary Tom Price. Democratic lawmakers requested that the inspector general look into Price’s use of private aircraft to travel the country for meetings, which has cost taxpayers at least $300,000 in recent months, according to reporting by Politico, which broke the news of Price’s travels. (Siddons, 9/22)

POLITICO Pro:
New Details Cast Doubt On Why Tom Price Needed A Private Jet

HHS Secretary Tom Price has been taking private jets because an unreliable commercial flight once forced him to cancel an important meeting, an HHS spokesperson says, part of his agenda to meet with average Americans outside of Washington. But the flight in question — to a two-day industry conference at a Ritz-Carlton hotel in southern California — didn’t get off the ground on a day when storms virtually shut down air traffic in the Washington region, preventing even private jets from getting out. (Diamond, 9/22)

 

Some stories produced by Kaiser Health News, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially independent service of the California Health Care Foundation. Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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