Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price resigned his position after expressing regret for use of a private jet at taxpayer expense reaching a total of $1 million.
In his resignation letter, which was submitted on Friday, Prices said that he didn’t want to cause the Trump administration “further disruption.”
“I have spent forty years both as a doctor and public servant putting people first,” Price wrote. “I regret that the recent events have created a distraction from these important objectives.”
“Success on these issues is more important than any one person,” he continued. “In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services effective 11:59 PM on Friday, September 29,2017.”
Price also expressed his continued support for President Donald Trump’s agenda.
“You may rest assured that I will continue to support your critical priorities going ahead because failure is not an option for the American people,” Price said.
Politico reported on the expenditures:
The White House approved the use of military aircraft for multi-national trips by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa and Europe this spring, and to Asia in the summer, at a cost of more than $500,000 to taxpayers.
The overseas trips bring the total cost to taxpayers of Price’s travels to more than $1 million since May, according to a POLITICO review.
Price pledged on Thursday to reimburse the government for the cost of his own seat on his domestic trips using private aircraft — reportedly around $52,000 — but that would not include the cost of the military flights.
Price’s wife, Betty, accompanied him on the military flights, while other members of the secretary’s delegation flew commercially to Europe.
HHS spokeswoman Charmaine Yoest said Price has reimbursed the agency for the cost of his wife’s travel abroad, but declined to say when he did so. Price has been under intense criticism since POLITICO revealed his extensive use of charter aircraft for domestic flights last week. His travel expenditures are subject to reviews by the HHS inspector general and the House Oversight Committee. Democratic and Republican senators have also demanded information about Price’s travel expenditures.