Here’s How Much Trump’s HHS Secretary’s Private Jets Have Cost U.S. Taxpayers
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price is the latest Trump administration official to land himself in hot water over his travel expenses.
The HHS Secretary has racked up costs in excess of $300,000 for at least 24 private charter flights at the taxpayers’ expense since May. That figure puts Price’s travel at an average cost of $12,500 per flight.
Price, a supposed critic of overspending, has allegedly been searching for ways to reduce costs within the department.
While his predecessors in the Obama era, Sylvia Mathews Burwell and Kathleen Sebelius, both flew commercial, Price has claimed that he only uses private jets when commercial travel is not available.
However, on June 6th, when Price traveled from Washington to Nashville for an event, for example, there were multiple trips available with fares as low at $202. Instead, his trip, per Classic Air Charter, cost taxpayers $17,760 for a flight that lasted less than an hour.
“If you’re going to a conference, you have some flexibility to book travel,” thereby eliminating the need to charter a private jet, explained Walter Shaub, former Director of the United States Office of Government Ethics. “This shows a complete disregard for the expense to the taxpayer.”
As Health and Human Services Secretary, Price should be focused on White House priorities related to Obamacare. Instead, he has spent this last week in Maine, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.
“No one is quite sure what [Tom Price] is doing,” a senior White House official said. “You look at this week, we’re doing a last final push trying to get [the Obamacare repeal] over the finish line, and he’s nowhere to be found.”
Price’s blatant disregard for taxpayer funds comes on the heels of an explosive report exposing Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin’s request to take a government-funded plane on his honeymoon with Louise Linton.
Trump may have promised to drain the swamp before taking office, but his cabinet has proven to be the most corrupt, wasteful, and entitled public servants in modern history.