Sending Office: Honorable David N. Cicilline
Sent By:
Sarah.Trister@mail.house.gov

Demand Accountability for HHS Secretary Price Using Private Planes

Cosigners: Jackson Lee, Grijalva, Huffman, Hastings, DeGette, Welch, Jayapal, Beyer, Demings, Quigley, Cohen, Kaptur,  Raskin, Barbara Lee,  Lieu, Walz,  Lujan Grisham,  Bustos, Pocan, O’Halleran, Schakowsky, Takano

Dear Colleague:

A recent
POLITICO report
disclosed that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price chartered “private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel” since being sworn in. This
use of taxpayer funds for private planes is a departure from previous HHS Secretaries flying commercial when on official HHS business in non-emergency situations.

I invite you to join me in a letter to the HHS Inspector General demanding answers regarding Secretary Price’s use of federal funds for these trips and any justification for this use of taxpayer dollars.

If you would like to cosign or if you have any questions, please contact Ross Brennan in my office at (202) 225-4911 or at
ross.brennan@mail.house.gov.  Deadline to sign is COB Monday. September 25th.

Sincerely,

David N. Cicilline

 

TEXT OF LETTER

Dear Inspector General Levinson,

We write to respectfully inquire regarding reports that Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price chartered “private jets on five separate flights for official business, at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial travel.” This
use of federal funds for private flights would represent a departure from former HHS Secretaries who made a practice of traveling by commercial flights in non-emergency situations. To that end, we respectfully request a response to the following:

  1. On how many occasions has Secretary Price or other HHS officials utilized chartered private flights for official business this year?
  2. How much did any private chartered trips cost taxpayers?
  3. What is HHS’ policy regarding chartering private planes for official business in non-emergency situations? Did the Secretary’s use of chartered private travel comply with HHS policy?
  4. What justification, if any, did Secretary Price provide HHS to charter these flights?
  5. For each separate private chartered flight, what attempts, if any, were made to find and book a commercial or other more cost-effective form of travel?
  6. Does Secretary Price intend to reimburse taxpayers for these flights?

As representatives of our constituents, our duty is to ensure that their tax dollars are being utilized in the most efficient and responsible manner in order to continue to deliver the critical services entrusted to federal agencies. As part of Congress’
oversight role, it is our responsibility to ensure waste, fraud, and abuse of federal tax dollars is scrutinized and corrected when need be.

We thank you for your role in providing accountability at HHS and look forward to your response. If our offices can be of service regarding this request, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,

Members of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Ethics and Standards, Government, HealthCare

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