White House budget guidelines private plane travel government employees



Mick Mulvaney
Mick
Mulvaney.

REUTERS/Carlos
Barria


White House budget director Mick Mulvaney issued a reminder for
administration officials thinking about flying on private jets
conduct government business.

Mick Mulvaney sent a letter on Friday telling officials to think
twice before rounding up private air travel on the taxpayer’s
dime: “Government-owned, rented, leased, or chartered aircraft
should not be used for travel by Government employees, except
with specific justification,” the letter from Mulvaney read,
citing existing guidelines that have been on the books since the
early 1990s.

Mulvaney said that beyond those rules, the heads of all executive
departments and agencies should remember that the money they
spend comes out of US taxpayers’ pockets. “We thus owe it to the
taxpayer to work as hard managing that money wisely as the
taxpayer must do to earn it in the first place,” Mulvaney’s
letter read.

The letter comes after
health secretary Tom Price resigned on Friday
amid a growing
scandal over his use of private and military planes, on which he
traveled for government business. The roughly two-dozen domestic
private flights Price reportedly took in the last few months have
cost US taxpayers $400,000, according to Politico, which first
broke the news of Price’s travel habits.

President Donald Trump indicated this week that he was “not
happy” about the “optics” of Price’s private air travel. Price
had said
he would reimburse the government about $52,000
for his seat
on the private domestic flights.

Price’s demise apparently had more to do with his overall record
in President Donald Trump’s administration. The flight scandal
was just the last straw, according to a new report from Politico

published Friday night
.

The health secretary’s personal stock within the administration
had waned significantly in recent months following repeated

failed congressional attempts to repeal and replace
Obamacare
, a signature Trump campaign proposal that so far
remains unfulfilled nearly one year into Trump’s first term.



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