You may have heard about Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's request for a government plane for his honeymoon. EPA Director Scott Pruitt's use of chartered flights and government planes that cost taxpayers $58,000.
Now, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, has resigned after being accused of using an estimated $400,000 for private charters. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the latest administration official who chose expensive chartered flights for his business travel.
During remarks today, he admitted to taking three chartered flights since his confirmation, totaling $12,000, but also justified taking the private flights over cheaper ones saying, "we have to utilize charter services because we often travel in areas and under circumstances that we don't have other fight options."
Similar arguments have been made by other Trump secretaries, including Steve Mnuchin, from Treasury, and EPA Director Scott Pruitt and HHS Secretary Tom Price, who racked up more than $400,000 in chartered flights on the taxpayers' dime.
He's since agreed to pay back the cost of his seat on those flights, roughly $52,000, but not reimburse the cost of the plane or crew.
After this, the powerful House Oversight Committee opening a bipartisan investigation, asking for travel records from all 24 federal agencies.
Federal regulations specifically prohibit official travel by chartered jet when it is not the most cost-effective mode of travel, and one budget hawk, Senator Grassley, writing to the President to remind them of that.
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