Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has reportedly been using private charter jets for official business including five private flights last week alone.
The secretary’s five flights, which were scheduled between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, took him to a resort in Maine where he participated in a Q&A discussion with a health care industry CEO, and to community health centers in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, according to internal HHS documents. [...]
HHS spokespeople declined to confirm details of the flights or respond to questions about who paid for them, with a spokesperson saying only that Price sometimes charters planes when commercial flights aren’t feasible. All three organizations that hosted Price last week — the Massachusetts-based health IT firm athenahealth, Goodwin Community Health Center in New Hampshire and the Mirmont Treatment Center in Pennsylvania — told POLITICO they did not pay for his flights or other travel costs.
The cost of Price's private flights, or at least one of them according to Politico, was $25,000. That might be a familiar number because that was also the estimated cost of the honeymoon flight requested by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) September 20, 2017
As you know, Price is one of those "fiscally conservative" types who clearly doesn't practice what he preaches. Price even criticized the use of private jets way back in 2009, but a black man was president then.
Price had a very different outlook on government spending for private planes while serving as a congressman from Georgia. In a 2009 CNBC interview, he criticized House Democrats for trying to spend $550 million on eight passenger jets.
He said a scaled-back request of $220 million for four jets also went too far.
"I think we've made it halfway of where we ought to and that is cut it from eight to four jets," Price said at the time. "Now we need to cut it from four jets to zero jets. This is just another example of fiscal irresponsibility run amok in Congress right now."