As he schemed to take away health care from tens of millions of Americans, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price was flying high on the taxpayer’s dime, jet-setting across the country. Coincidentally, he kept finding himself attending meetings or conferences in places where he happens to own property. From Politico:
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took a government-funded private jet in August to get to St. Simons Island, an exclusive Georgia resort where he and his wife own land, a day and a half before he addressed a group of local doctors at a medical conference that he and his wife have long attended.
The St. Simons Island trip was one of two taxpayer-funded flights on private jets in which Price traveled to places where he owns property, and paired official visits with meetings with longtime colleagues and family members. On June 6, HHS chartered a jet to fly Price to Nashville, Tennessee, where he owns a condominium and where his son resides. Price toured a medicine dispensary and spoke to a local health summit organized by a longtime friend. He also had lunch with his son, an HHS official confirmed.
How wonderful he was able to arrive as Mr. Big Time in a private jet to meet with family and old friends. Is this really urgent government business requiring the use of uber expensive private jets? While he’s trying to convince Americans we need to end Medicaid and slash healthcare funding for the poor, elderly, disabled and children?
As Politico notes, there were several commercial flights that fit the Price’s itinerary. But it appears nothing is too good for high-flying Tom Price. One of this 26 taxpayer-funded private flights was to Aspen, Colorado, where he spoke at a conference of millionaire and billionaires, including representatives of the billionaire Koch brothers. At that conference, the Koch brothers issued their marching orders to Price and Republican leadership: repeal Obamacare or their “Dallas piggy bank” would be closed.
And now, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s travel records are raising eyebrows after revelations he used taxpayer-funded private jets to go to Italy and frequent trips back to his home state of Oklahoma. From CBS News:
First, he had a trip to Cincinnati with President Trump. Then, he went on to New York’s JFK Airport on an Air Force jet, leaving behind $350 commercial flights and sticking taxpayers with a bill for at least $20,000.
He then flew to Italy for an international summit that didn’t start until three days later, and he left that meeting a day early. It’s unclear why he was in a rush.
In one instance, Pruitt took an expensive private jet, even though the governor of Colorado offered him a lift!
An EPA spokesperson told CBS News that Pruitt chartered the plane “after his flight was significantly delayed in order to ensure that he did not miss a critical meeting,” and ethics officials were consulted.
The Colorado governor’s office offered Pruitt a ride on his government aircraft, but the EPA declined.
Meanwhile, Pruitt has bragged of slashing the EPA’s budget and is raving to Republicans they are cutting 5,000 EPA jobs by 2018. All while Flint, Michigan still doesn’t have clean drinking water and parts of Houston were under water in a toxic chemical soup caused by Hurricane Harvey.
Shame on these people, every single one.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.