Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price has offered to pay back a fraction of the costs incurred for his use of charter flights in recent months after facing mounting criticism.
Price took government-funded private jet trips to visit properties he owns and to visit family in the last several months before doing routine meetings as part of his job with HHS, according to Politico.
The approximately 24 flights Price has taken are expected to have cost more than $400,000.
The Washington Post reports Price will be paying back $51,887.31 to cover the cost of his seat on the chartered flights. Price said he will not take any more private charter flights as secretary of HHS.
“Today, I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes. The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes,” he said in a statement.
The Health and Human Services secretary later added:
“I regret the concerns this has raised regarding the use of taxpayer dollars. All of my political career I’ve fought for the taxpayers. It is clear to me that in this case, I was not sensitive enough to my concern for the taxpayer.”
Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Ariz.) pointed out that there is still $348,112.69 left unaccounted for.
Which leaves at least $348,112.69 for taxpayers to cover. https://t.co/cJ8vSJQvlq— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) September 28, 2017
Price’s travel is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for his travel on the private jets.