The Jury Talks Back

9/29/2017

Tom Price Resigns Today As Health And Human Services Secretary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 3:42 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Tom Price, secretary of Health and Human Services, has been under fire since it was reported that “his travel tab has exceeded $1 million when accounting for both the overseas trips and the more than two dozen trips he has taken on private planes domestically since May.” Today, he resigned from his position in the Trump administration:

In a letter to Trump, Price wrote that he regretted that “recent events have created a distraction” from the administration’s objectives, and that he was resigning in order for the president “to move forward without further disruption.”

“Secretary of Health and Human Services Thomas Price offered his resignation earlier today and the president accepted,” read a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Sanders, adding that Trump intends to designate Don Wright, the current deputy assistant secretary for health and director of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion as acting secretary.

And while Price has said that he would reimburse the government, exactly how much that might be is in question:

A source with knowledge of Price’s intentions earlier said that he would pay $51,887.31 for the flights, just a fraction of the over $400,000 that the chartered flights were said to have cost. Military flights to Africa, Asia and Europe, on which Price was joined by his wife, pushed the total over the $1 million figure, according to Politico.

In 2009, then fiscal conservative Price seemed to be singing a different tune about government spending on private planes. Back then he was he was critical of House Democrats seeking to increase spending to $550 million on eight passenger jets:

[Price] said a scaled-back request of $220 million for four jets also went too far.

“I think we’ve made it halfway of where we ought to and that is cut it from eight to four jets,” Price said at the time. “Now we need to cut it from four jets to zero jets. This is just another example of fiscal irresponsibility run amok in Congress right now.”

It’s interesting to note that Price’s resignation comes also on the heels of Congress failing for the third time to repeal and replace Obamacare, which was one of President Trump’s priority campaign promises.

There is now a long-term unintended consequence to face because of Price’s transportation decisions:

But the story also shows you why Price’s travel habits have become such a liability for the White House: Now every trip taken by every cabinet official is being scrutinized by the media now, and every time they find one that smells, it becomes part of a narrative that the populist president’s fatcat cabinet is living large on the taxpayer dime.

But with that, this is a good reminder that not every incriminating report put out about a Trump cabinet member or official is as it appears. Further, we know there are deliberate attempts made by the press to mislead the public about members of this administration.

Anyway, judging by the number of Trump administration officials who have resigned, it appears the swamp is draining itself.

–Dana

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