PRICE APOL­O­GIZES FOR COSTLY CHAR­TER FLIGHTS

USA TODAY US Edition - - NEWS -

Fighting to keep his job, Health and Hu­man Ser­vices Sec­re­tary Tom Price said Thurs­day that he’d write a per­sonal check to re­im­burse tax­pay­ers for his travel on char­ter flights taken on govern­ment busi­ness and pledged to fly com­mer­cial — “no ex­cep­tions.”

The re­pay­ment — $51,887.31, ac­cord­ing to Price’s of­fice — cov­ered only the sec­re­tary’s seat. Price did not ad­dress the over­all cost of the flights, which could amount to at least sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars and is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“I re­gret the con­cerns this has raised re­gard­ing the use of tax­payer dol­lars,” Price said in a state­ment. “I was not sen­si­tive enough to my con­cern for the tax­payer.”

JOSE LUIS MAGANA, AP

House Ma­jor­ity Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., walks with his wife Jen­nifer, left, as he leaves the House cham­ber in the Capi­tol in Wash­ing­ton on Thurs­day.

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