Dems Want Price to Resign Over Private Jet Use

"I have no idea who came up with this notion and where it came from, and the notion you could spend $400,000 in what, five months, is stunning", Sebelius said.

"We'll see", Trump told reporters assembled on the White House's South Lawn when asked about whether he would fire Price.

Charter plane operators estimated 24 flights would have cost $300,000, Politico reported.

The President's blunt words underscored his strong displeasure toward Price that could ultimately lead to his dismissal.

Earlier Wednesday, a top White House official said the administration was awaiting the internal and congressional inquiry into Price's use of private jets but declined to say whether the President had confidence in the secretary.

Price is not the only member of the Cabinet to be in a precarious position with Trump.

Price, who once railed against Democrats in Congress using private planes paid for with government funds, took a trip in August to the St. Simons Island resort in Georgia, where he and his wife Betty own land.

Inside the department, the mood is souring.

Two current officials this source spoke to simply could not "believe he was using taxpayer money for a private plane".

Senate Republicans announced Tuesday they were again backing away from a vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the committee's ranking Democrat, sent letters Tuesday to the White House (PDF) and 24 federal agencies (PDF) to request additional information on when Price took chartered flights and for what objective.

The Health and Human Services inspector general is also investigating Price's taxpayer-funded travel involving at least two dozen flights in recent months, a spokeswoman said Friday. Price is known as a conservative policy expert, but his penchant for taking private charter aircraft on the taxpayer's dime is creating new headaches for the White House.

A group of Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday called for Price's resignation. Price, after all, maintained a reputation on Capitol Hill of being a fiscal hardliner and constant voice admonishing wasteful government spending. Gulp. By the way, I know a guy who's well qualified to be HHS secretary, has some time on his hands right now, and might very well accept the job if offered. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, quipped. And I think as a public servant, you have to try to set some sort of example.

  • Santos West