Democratic Congress Members Call on Tom Price to Resign
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Reps. Ruben Gallego (AZ-07), Ted Lieu (CA-33), Brenda Lawrence (MI-14), Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) called on Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to resign from his position after reports that he used government funds to pay for expensive private jets for official travel, bypassing cost-effective alternatives and wasting taxpayer dollars.
“At a minimum, the American people expect cabinet secretaries to lead with integrity, accept accountability, and use public resources responsibly,” they wrote in a letter to Price. “In light of your breach of the public trust, we write to urge you to do the right thing and immediately tender your resignation.”
The full text of the letter is below and a signed copy can be found here.
Dear Secretary Price:
Earlier this month it emerged that since assuming office as Secretary of Health and Human Services, you have routinely made use of expensive private jets for official travel, bypassing cost-effective alternatives and wasting hundreds of thousands of tax dollars. At a minimum, the American people expect cabinet secretaries to lead with integrity, accept accountability, and use public resources responsibly. In light of your breach of the public trust, we write to urge you to do the right thing and immediately tender your resignation.
On September 19th, POLITICO reported that you had chartered a private jet on several short official trips, including a $25,000 private flight from Washington, DC to Philadelphia and back – a trip that would at most cost $725 round-trip on a commercial airline. It has since come to light that you have taken more than 24 privately chartered flights in your time as Secretary, costing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) more than $400,000. This represents a gross misuse of public funds that could have been spent on efforts to improve the health and well-being of the American people.
Unfortunately, this was not the first time that you have exhibited such poor judgment as a public official. We were greatly alarmed to learn earlier this year that you abused your position as a Member of Congress by introducing legislation to benefit your own personal investments and – even more egregiously – by trading more than $300,000 in health care industry stocks based on insider information.
The American people deserve cabinet secretaries who place the public good above their own private interests. For these reasons, we urge you to immediately announce your resignation from the Office of Secretary of Health and Human Services.