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White House outlines travel rules for Trump Cabinet members

White House outlines travel rules for Trump Cabinet members
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The White House issued a memo to members of President Trump's Cabinet on Friday outlining rules for travel after the president's health secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceBiden health nominee faces first Senate test Focus on cabinet nominees' effectiveness and expertise, not just ideology Conspicuous by their absence from the Republican Convention MORE resigned following backlash over his use of private jets for official business.

"Government-owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft should not be used for travel by Government employees, except with specific justification - per the Office of Management and Budget," Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyOMB nominee gets hearing on Feb. 9 Republicans now 'shocked, shocked' that there's a deficit Financial firms brace for Biden's consumer agency chief MORE, the director of the office, wrote in the memo dated Friday.

"Every penny we spend comes from the taxpayer. We thus owe it to the taxpayer to work as hard managing that money wisely as the taxpayer must do to earn it in the first place," he continued. 

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Department and agency heads traveling on government-owned or leased planes or chartered aircraft for trips outside their official "mission requirement" will need approval from White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE, Mulvaney said. 

The White House budget chief said that "just because something is legal doesn't make it right," adding that "with few exceptions, the commercial air system used by millions of Americans every day is appropriate, even for very senior officials."

Various members of the president's Cabinet are under fire for their travel since taking public office, with Price on Friday resigning as head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) after it was revealed he traveled on private jets for work, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeOvernight Energy: Interior finalizes plan to open 80 percent of Alaska petroleum reserve to drilling | Justice Department lawyers acknowledge presidential transition in court filing | Trump admin pushes for permits for men who inspired Bundy standoff Trump administration pushes for grazing permits for men who inspired Bundy standoff Interior secretary tests positive for COVID-19 after two days of meetings with officials: report MORE and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule Restoring the EPA: Lessons from the past MORE are also facing questions about their use of private aircraft for government business, while Veterans Affairs Secretary David ShulkinDavid Jonathon ShulkinBiden's nominee for VA secretary isn't a veteran — does it matter? The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Congress slogs toward COVID-19 relief, omnibus deal A crisis that unites veterans MORE spent nearly half his time on a recent international trip sightseeing and shopping with his wife, who had her airfare paid for by the government, The Washington Post reported.