Democratic leaders request investigation into Price's travel

Democratic leaders request investigation into Price's travel
© Keren Carrion

Congressional Democrats in a Wednesday letter called for an investigation into Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceOvernight Health Care — Presented by Partnership for America's Health Care Future — Warren faces tough choices on 'Medicare for All' funding | Dems demand answers on Tom Price's charter flights | Medicaid expansion nears 2020 ballot in Oklahoma Senate Democrats demand answers on payment for Tom Price's charter flights Industrial food system is at the heart of biodiversity degradation and climate change MORE’s travel, following a report that said Price took private jets on five flights for government business last week.

Reps. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.) and Richard Neal (Mass.), along with Sens. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenDemocratic senators introduce bill to block funding for border wall live stream Booker, Sanders propose new federal agency to control drug prices Hillicon Valley: Amazon to challenge Pentagon cloud contract in court | State antitrust investigation into Google expands | Intel agencies no longer collecting location data without warrant MORE (Ore.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurraySenators press FDA tobacco chief on status of vaping ban Retirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments Senate Democrats call on White House to abandon plan to collect DNA from migrants MORE (Wash.) and Gary PetersGary Charles PetersAdvocates step up efforts for horse racing reform bill after more deaths Warren doubles down — to Democrats' chagrin, and Trump's delight Senators urge Trump to fill vacancies at DHS MORE (Mich.), signed the letter, which asks a series of questions about Price’s travel.

Pallone announced earlier in the day that he would call for the investigation.

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“American taxpayers deserve assurances that their tax dollars are not wasted by the government’s highest officials, and we are committed to holding Secretary Price to his stated pledges to reduce waste throughout the Department,” the letter reads.

The letter asks that the inspector general determine why Price did not fly commercially for five different business flights last week. The letter also asks for details about the chartered flights, including who booked the travel and the identities of other passengers. 

"I would remind Secretary Price that taxpayer funds are not meant to be used as a jet-setting slush fund," Pallone said in the statement released early Wednesday.

"There is no reason to be regularly chartering private flights at the taxpayers’ expense between commercially serviced routes such Washington, D.C. to Philadelphia,” he added, referencing one of the trips detailed in the Politico report.