waste from the past
July 13, 2018

Remember Tom Price?

America hasn't heard from President Trump's short-lived health and human services secretary in a while, but the government's internal watchdog was still keeping tabs on him. And on Friday, it concluded Price wasted at least $341,000 on travel during his seven months in office, The Associated Press reports.

Price's high-flying air travel costs led to his resignation from the White House last September. He stole headlines by spending hundreds of thousands of government dollars on chartered flights, including a $50,420 round-trip to a September 2017 conference — where he ranted about wasted taxpayer dollars.

The inspector general's report concluded that in 20 out of 21 of those flights, the health secretary's office broke federal regulations and often booked a charter jet without considering cheaper commercial flights. Price's trips totaled nearly $1.2 million in airfare, at least $341,000 of which was wasted.

The health secretary's office should now attempt to get that money back, per the inspector general's recommendations. While still serving as health secretary, Price pledged to repay precisely $51,887.31 — the cost of his seat on the chartered flights, but not the whole plane — and in March, House Democrats confirmed he had paid the government nearly $60,000.

Only a few hundred thousand more to go. Kathryn Krawczyk

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