Tough Talk: ‘The Price’ Not Right For HHS Secretary; He Should Have To Repay Taxpayers These Funds
Opinion writers take a harsh look at the expenses Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has racked up by flying chartered, rather than commercial, flights. But former HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt offers a defense.
The Washington Post:
Tom Price Should Pay Taxpayers Back
It’s hard to think of someone in Washington these days who might rival Mr. Price for brazen hypocrisy, though, admittedly, the bar is high. This is the very same Mr. Price, remember, who, as a congressman from Georgia for the past 12 years, piously condemned the federal government’s “reckless spending.” (9/27)
The Washington Post:
Of Course Tom Price Shouldn’t Have To Fly Coach!
For Tom Price, the price is right. The fake-news media is attacking our hard-working secretary of health and human services. First, those losers at Politico reported that Price took $60,000 in charter flights, including a $25,000 flight to Philadelphia, apparently at taxpayer expense. Politico pointed out that a train to and from Philly cost $72. (Dana Milbank, 9/27)
Trump And Tom Price: The Price Isn't Right For HHS Chief's Private Trips
Memo to Price: Several airlines fly to Philadelphia, Nashville and Atlanta. If you really want to keep in touch with Americans, you'll meet more of them on commercial flights. ... The underlying principle is simple: Don't waste taxpayer money. “Taxpayers generally should pay no more than necessary for transportation,” and non-commercial planes should be used when they are “the most cost-effective mode of travel,” say government rules and guidance. (9/27)
Tom Price Isn't Doing An Ordinary Job
Critics of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price have called for the Office of the Inspector General to review his travel arrangements. It’s often the case that the allegation makes headlines, but when the issue is investigated, the report indicates proper procedures were followed. Opinion might be more credibly offered after a review is completed. Decisions to use a non-commercial aircraft for government officials cannot be made casually. For each trip, a full analysis is required by law. Before a trip is authorized, multiple government executives must attest to the trip’s government purpose and economic justification. (Mike Leavitt, 9/27)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Anti-Wasteful Spending HHS Secretary Tom Price Billed Taxpayers $400,000 For Private Jets
During the past five months, as congressional Republicans were making five separate efforts to gut health care for low-income Americans, the man in charge of administering Obamacare was flying around the country on private jets at a cost to taxpayers of more than $400,000. The “optics in some of this don’t look good,” Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price conceded to Fox News on Saturday. Indeed, the optics are so bad that the House Oversight Committee has begun an investigation. President Donald Trump, who said Wednesday that he’s “not happy” about the private jet use, is putting distance between himself and Price. (9/28)