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Oversight Dems seek hearings on Trump officials’ travel controversies

Oversight Dems seek hearings on Trump officials’ travel controversies

Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are asking the panel’s GOP chairman to convene hearings on recent controversies over taxpayer-funded travel by Trump administration officials.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsWarren, Cummings seek 0B to fight opioid epidemic Baltimore City's real solution to the opioid epidemic Overnight Finance: Wells Fargo could pay B fine | Dems seek info on loans to Kushner | House to vote on IRS reform bills | Fed vice chair heading before Congress MORE (Md.), the committee’s top Democrat, wrote to Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyGOP chairmen extend deadline for DOJ decision to turn over 'Comey memos' The Hill's Morning Report: Hannity drawn into Cohen legal fight Watchdog: Pruitt’s chief of staff responsible for aides’ controversial raises MORE (R-S.C.) Tuesday to complain that some federal agencies and officials aren’t complying with a September request sent to 25 agencies inquiring about official travel costs.

Trump officials like Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott Pruitt170 lawmakers sign resolution calling for Pruitt's resignation Trump's NASA nominee advances after floor drama The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinRussia vows 'painful' response to any US sanctions Democrats can campaign on technology for edge in 2020 Overnight Finance: Officials downplay Trump comments on trade, China currency | Fed official defends moves on bank regulation | Russia sanctions snag pits Kudlow against Haley | IRS deals with Tax Day tech trouble MORE, Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Trump energy adviser leaving for lobbying job | Zinke decides against lowering offshore royalty rates | Greens fight Coast Guard bill Dem lawmaker rips Trump's taxpayer spending on Tax Day Zinke refers to himself as a geologist despite never having worked as one: analysis MORE and former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceDem lawmaker rips Trump's taxpayer spending on Tax Day Trump admits mistakes with Cabinet picks HHS secretary briefly hospitalized for 'minor infection' MORE have come under fire over the last year for taxpayer-funded travel, including frequently flying first class or using charter or military aircraft.

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Cummings and Gowdy have come together to investigate many of the controversies, but Cummings complained that the executive branch hasn’t always been cooperative.

“For example, the White House has openly refused to provide any documents in response to these requests, despite the fact that Counselor to the President Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne Elizabeth ConwayMenendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat' House consumed by leadership races The rule-of-law party must unite around Mueller MORE traveled on some of the same charter flights with Secretary Price that led to his dismissal and refunding some of these funds to the American taxpayers,” he wrote in his letter with Rep. Raja KrishnamoorthiSubramanian (Raja) Raja KrishnamoorthiOversight Dems seek hearings on Trump officials’ travel controversies White House 'not probing whether Jared Kushner violated the law' House Dems request info on White House probe of loans to Kushner family's business MORE (Ill.), the top Democrat on the panel’s Subcommittee on Healthcare, Benefits and Administrative Rules.

Cummings said Gowdy also refused to either issue a subpoena unilaterally or allow a committee vote on a subpoena. 

“Many agencies — including the White House — have refused to provide the information our Committee has requested to conduct our investigation, and without subpoenas, we cannot effectively investigate this manner,” the lawmakers said.

“As representatives of the American taxpayers, we are responsible for ensuring that their hard-earned money is not wasted. The extensive use of noncommercial aircraft by multiple members of the Trump administration is disrespectful to the American taxpayers who foot the bill for these expenses.”

Gowdy’s staff did not immediately comment on the letter.