Tom Price has been under fire, and on President Trump’s bad side after he used private jets on the taxpayer’s dime. While the Health and Human Services Secretary was using it for official government business, it often overlapped into his personal life, such as meeting his son for lunch.
On Thursday, he announced that he will be reimbursing the taxpayer portion of the expense.
Price said, “Today, I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes,” he continued, “The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.”
He also said that although his travel was “approved by legal and HHS officials,” he will not use the private flights anymore.
Price continued, “I regret the concerns this has raised regarding the use of taxpayer dollars,” he added, “It is clear to me that in this case, I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer.”
The Hill reports:
An HHS spokesperson told The Hill that Price will pay $51,887.31 for his seat on the flights, not the entire cost.
“The Secretary has heard the taxpayers’ concerns and wants to be responsive to them. That’s why he’s taking the unprecedented step of reimbursing the government for his share of the travel,” the spokesperson said. “The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for his seats on charter planes.”
Price had a minimum net worth of about $8.2 million, including more than one bank account containing at least $100,000 in cash, at the time of his nomination to lead HHS in January, according to his personal financial disclosure forms.
The former Georgia congressman has been the subject of controversy since a report by Politico revealed last week that Price has flown a private jet at least 24 times since May, costing taxpayers an estimated $400,000. Some of those flights overlapped with personal events, including a lunch with his son.
The controversy seems to have put Price’s job at risk. The White House on Thursday refused to say whether Price would stay on.
“We’re going to conduct a full review and see what happens,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
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