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Top Dem demands answers: Did Price pay back for private travel?

Top Dem demands answers: Did Price pay back for private travel?
© Greg Nash

A top Democratic senator is demanding to know if former Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceWhat Trump didn't say in his State of the Union address CDC director bought tobacco stock while in office Overnight Health Care: Senate Dems block 20-week abortion ban | Azar sworn in as HHS chief | Dems demand answers on family planning funds | GOP takes sting out of ObamaCare MORE has reimbursed taxpayers for his use of charter flights on official government business.

In a letter obtained by The Hill, Sen. Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayLawmakers eye retirement help for gig economy workers Overnight Regulation: Labor Department reportedly hid unfavorable report on tip-pooling rule | NY plans to sue EPA over water rule | Senators urge FTC to probe company selling fake Twitter followers Trump's vows to take on drug prices, opioids draw skepticism MORE (D-Wash.) on Tuesday asked Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin wants to know how consumer bureau is handling Equifax breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would 'love to see a shutdown' over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE to confirm whether Price has in fact sent a check to the U.S. Treasury, and for how much.

“While Price may no longer be Secretary of HHS, he still has the responsibility to follow through on his commitment to repay the American public,” Murray wrote. “Anything less is a clear indication that Price was not in fact sorry for his abuse of taxpayer dollars, but was just sorry that he was caught.”

In addition, Murray asked if any other Cabinet members had reimbursed the government for their travels on military or charter flights.

Price was one of four Cabinet secretaries — including Mnuchin — who have been known to have used private or military planes instead of flying commercial while working for the government in some capacity.

Price resigned on Friday following a series of public rebukes from President Trump and GOP lawmakers.

Before he resigned, Price had promised to repay the cost of his travels with a personal check. However, HHS said he would only pay for the cost of “his share of the travel,” which amounts to just under $52,000.

The entire costs of his trips are estimated to be about $1 million.

Murray said Price’s plans to reimburse the government for only a fraction of the cost of the travel “is entirely inadequate.”

At the time of his confirmation, Price’s wealth was estimated at approximately $14 million, according to his financial disclosure forms.