Ousted health secretary Tom Price repaid $60k for his travel

WASHINGTON — Former health secretary Tom Price repaid the government nearly $60,000 for his costs flying on private charters for official business, House Democrats revealed Tuesday.

But White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway flew on some of those same trips, and Democrats want to know how much that cost.

"The White House has completely stonewalled our requests for documents," Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said in a letter pressing House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., to subpoena travel records for Conway and other White House officials.

Spending on travel and office furnishings by top officials have become a running story in a tumultuous first year for the Trump administration. A White House spokesman dismissed the Democratic push for records as "ridiculous" and a "partisan attack."

Price was forced to resign last fall after President Donald Trump publicly expressed his displeasure over his travel on charter jets instead of commercial flights. The Treasury Department confirmed to House investigators that Price sent three checks totaling about $59,400 for travel expenses, Cummings said.

But the Democrat complained that the White House has repeatedly deflected records requests for Conway's travel. Other government records indicate she accompanied Price on four trips involving stops in several states, Cummings said.

Last spring, Conway accompanied Price to Maine, Michigan, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and West Virginia, to highlight the Trump administration's efforts to counter the opioid epidemic. Her participation at local events received media coverage at the time. She also flew with Price to Philadelphia.

As he fought to keep his job as Trump's first secretary of Health and Human Services, Price apologized for the costly trips and promised to repay taxpayers. Tuesday's update from House Democrats confirmed Price followed through. However, that promise wasn't enough for him to keep his job.

The White House has stood by Conway in the face of criticism. Last week a federal watchdog agency said Conway violated a law prohibiting government officials from using their positions to influence political campaigns. The White House disputed that finding, saying that Conway had merely been doing her job conveying Trump's views in her comments on a recent U.S. Senate election in Alabama.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said in a statement that costs related to Conway's travel with Price would have been the responsibility of HHS. "When White House staff accompany Cabinet members their travel plans are arranged, secured and financed by the inviting agency," he said.

Must Read

10 Things to Know for Thursday

Aug 11, 2016

Among 10 Things to Know: Criticism may be slowing Trump train; 'Grim Sleeper' sent to death row; versatile ESPN sportscaster dies at 61

Trump on sidelines as Clinton fills Olympics airtime

Aug 9, 2016

Clinton is taking advantage of the millions of Americans tuned in to NBC to watch U.S. athletes rack up medals during the Olympics in Rio

Police: Woman killed by Florida officer in academy exercise

Aug 10, 2016

A police "shoot/ don't shoot" demonstration went shockingly awry when an officer shot and killed a 73-year-old former librarian with what police said was real ammunition used by mistake at an event designed to bring police and the public together

People also read these

If Trump can't get along with GOP, how will he govern?

Aug 9, 2016

Beyond the political fallout from Donald Trump's rocky relationship with party elders lies a fundamental reality: Should he win the presidency, the brash billionaire will have to work closely with the same GOP leaders he vilified on the campaign trail

Trump ignites new firestorm: Gun backers might stop Clinton

Aug 10, 2016

Donald Trump sets off a fresh political firestorm by suggesting gun rights supporters might find a way to stop Hillary Clinton if she's elected and nominates anti-gun Supreme Court justices

Valeant's rosy forecast and promised changes, fire up shares

Aug 9, 2016

Drugmaker Valeant posts big 2Q loss, but execs tout turn-around plan and reassured investors drive up shares

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH