Price to reimburse partial cost of private jet travel

HHS Secretary Tom Price, MD, will personally reimburse $52,000 of the roughly $400,000 his office spent on private jets chartered for travel on official government business, according to The Hill.

"Today, I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes," Dr. Price wrote in a statement . "The taxpayers won't pay a dime for my seat on those planes."

Dr. Price received criticism from both Congress and President Donald Trump after a Politico report revealed  he spent over $400,000 chartering private planes for official travel when Cabinet members are supposed to travel on commercial flights unless logistical constraints make it infeasible. Dr. Price will write a check worth roughly $52,000, which covers the cost for his seat on those planes but does not include the costs of support staff and others on the planes.

Another Politico report detailed how Dr. Price spent over $500,000 chartering military jets for international travel to Africa, Asia and Europe this summer. Though past HHS secretaries have usually flown commerically for international trips, HHS officials say that because the agency has not confirmed a deputy secretary, Dr. Price's travel safety must be put at a premium.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform sent a letter Wednesday asking Dr. Price to release the details of the trips and the Office of the Inspector General is also conducting a review on the matter. It is unknown if they will continue their investigations after the reimbursement.

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