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Health secretary to repay government for private plane use

WASHINGTON — Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price said on Thursday that he would write a check to the government to cover the cost of his travel on private charter planes.

“Today, I will write a personal check to the U.S. Treasury for the expenses of my travel on private charter planes,” Price said in a statement. “The taxpayers won’t pay a dime for my seat on those planes.”

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump said he was “not happy” with reports that Price, as secretary, had taken at least two dozen private charter flights since May. Politico, which first reported on the flights, said the tab for U.S. taxpayers had been over $400,000.

Price said he wasn’t “sensitive enough” to the concerns the charters would create about the use of taxpayer dollars.

His statement comes after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president was not thrilled with Price’s flights.

Sanders says, “We’ve asked a halt to be put, particularly at HHS, on any private charter flights moving forward.”

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