Private Flights

Cummings Also Seeks Copy of Price’s Check Repaying Taxpayers

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter to Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, requesting information on all private, non-commercial, or military flights she has taken since assuming her positon in the White House, including all flights she took with then-Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Thomas E. Price.

Cummings also sent a letter today to Acting HHS Secretary Don Wright and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin requesting a copy of the check Secretary Price promised to write last Friday to repay taxpayers for his travel on non-commercial flights.

On September 22, 2017, Cummings wrote a letter to then-Secretary Price to investigate reports that he took dozens of non-commercial flights at taxpayer expense. Cummings requested a wide range of documents by October 10, 2017, including the number of flights, the full costs for each flight, a list of all passengers, and any documents relating to or approving these flights. He also requested a briefing from HHS staff by October 6, 2017, and he called on Chairman Trey Gowdy to hold hearings on these abuses.

On September 27, 2017, Gowdy and Cummings followed-up by sending a bipartisan letter requesting a similar set of documents, also by October 10, 2017.

In his letter to Conway today, Cummings wrote: “Before he resigned last Friday, Secretary Price apologized for abusing the public trust and pledged to repay all of his travel expenses on these flights — without exception.”

“Despite the fact that you joined Secretary Price on several of these flights, you have not made any similar public statements indicating whether your own actions were appropriate, whether you will continue to take such flights at taxpayer expense in the future, or whether you plan to personally repay the taxpayers for the costs of your seats on these flights,” Cummings wrote.

In his letter to HHS and Treasury today, Cummings wrote, “To verify that Secretary Price made his payment last Friday, please provide by October 6, 2017, a copy of any check or other form of payment former Secretary Price submitted to reimburse his expenses for these flights. If you do not have a copy of this payment, please indicate that you have not received it and provide any explanation you have received from former Secretary Price or his representatives for why his payment has not been made.”

Cummings also asked HHS whether it plans to produce all documents requested by October 10, 2017.

“A full review of these documents will provide the Committee with the ability to determine whether any reimbursement submitted by former Secretary Price is sufficient to cover the full costs of all of his noncommercial travel,” Cummings wrote.

Click here to read the letter to Kellyanne Conway.

Click here to read the letter to Acting Secretary Wright and Secretary Mnuchin.