Big Republican Government

Report: Tom Price Has Booked 24 Private Jets, Including a Flight to Aspen

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Politico first reported this week that Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has been chartering private jets, including five flights last week alone, but the problem is apparently much bigger than that.

Price has booked at least 24 flights on private jets, including a flight to the Aspen Ideas Festival. A spokesman for Price says he chartered the flights to direct recovery efforts following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, but most of the flights took place before hurricane season even arrived.

The cost of the trips identified by POLITICO exceeds $300,000, according to a review of federal contracts and similar trip itineraries. [...]

POLITICO identified at least 17 charter flights that took place before the first storm — Hurricane Harvey — hit in late August, and included flights that did not appear to be for urgent HHS public health priorities.

For example, Price took a Learjet-60 from San Diego to the Aspen Ideas Festival — a glamorous conference at the Colorado resort town — that arrived at 3:33 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, June 24, nearly 19 hours before his scheduled panel. That flight likely cost more than $7,100, according to one charter jet agency estimate.

I just love the idea of Trump's supposedly anti-elitist regime booking private, taxpayer-funded jets to the fucking Aspen Ideas Festival. It's perfect.

Tom Price should resign, of course, but I don't expect he will.

The department's inspector general has launched an investigation of Price's flights, but Congress should launch their own. The money Price is using for his flights was appropriated for the department by Congress and I doubt this is what they had in mind.

Price, as you know, had made it his mission to reduce wasteful spending. Or something.

  • muselet

    HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest had a … erm … unique take on this:

    “This is Secretary Price, getting outside of D.C., making sure he is connected with the real American people,” she said in a statement to The Washington Post. “Wasting four hours in an airport and having the secretary cancel his event is not a good use of taxpayer money.”

    [limk omitted]

    I guess that means the people waiting at airports aren’t part of the “real American people” or something, unlike the attendees of the Aspen Ideas Festival (something which I didn’t know even existed; learn something new every day).

    Also:

    Even White House staff seemed annoyed at Price’s travel as Republicans are pushing for legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act.

    “No one is quite sure what [Price] is doing,” a senior White House official told Politico. “You look at this week, we’re doing a last final push trying to get this over the finish line, and he’s nowhere to be found.”

    Those paragraphs made me laugh and laugh.

    –alopecia

  • Aynwrong

    Drain The Swamp™ has proven to be an agenda to swamp the drain.

  • Swamp monsters are swampy. Hoocoodanode?!?! I just want this nightmare to be over.

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