Grassley urges Trump to curb cabinet travel - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grassley urges Trump to curb cabinet travel

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Iowa's senior Republican United States Senator, Chuck Grassley, Thursday urged President Trump to curb cabinet secretaries’ expensive travel, amid news reports of such travel by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. 

Grassley also asked for details of the steps the Administration is taking to reduce such travel. 

“Considering the many travel options to and from Washington, D.C., I'm urging you to emphasize to cabinet secretaries the necessity of using reasonable and cost-effective modes of travel in accordance with federal restrictions,” Grassley wrote to Trump.

“Given the news reports and inspector general reviews at three agencies, please detail what steps the administration has taken to ensure that cabinet secretaries use the most fiscally responsible travel in accordance with the public trust they hold and the spirit and letter of all laws, regulations, and policies that apply.”

According to reports, Price has used private planes for official duties at an estimated $400,000 cost to taxpayers.  Pruitt has taken numerous trips to his home state of Oklahoma “with questionable value to the federal taxpayers” and military flights including a flight to accommodate a trip to Italy.  Mnuchin reportedly has taken government planes to Kentucky and from New York City to Washington, D.C.  The travel of all three officials is under review by their respective agency inspectors general.

Grassley noted that Price has said he will stop taking charter trips until the inspector general review is completed.  “This development should be copied government-wide,” Grassley wrote.

Federal regulations prohibit official travel by chartered jet when it is not the most cost-effective mode of travel.  As the HHS policy manual states, “Travel must be most advantageous to the Government, when cost and other factors are considered.”

Grassley’s letter is available here.  

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