WASHINGTON – Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has resigned amid controversy over his use of costly private charter flights on government business. But other Cabinet members are also facing congressional scrutiny over their travel.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke dismissed the controversy over charters as “a little BS over travel,” but he acknowledged taxpayers do have the right to know official travel costs.
The Price controversy was a catalyst for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to launch a government-wide travel investigation. The panel is seeking detailed records from the White House and 24 departments and agencies on the use of government planes as well as private charters.
Here’s a look at what other Cabinet members are saying:
—Interior’s Zinke said he’s taken three charter flights while in office, including a $12,375 late-night trip from Las Vegas to his home state of Montana in June. Zinke said no commercial flight was available at the time he planned to fly for a speech to Western governors. He also went on a military flight with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to view wildfires in Montana. All of his travel was approved in advance by Interior’s ethics officials “after extensive due diligence,” Zinke said.