Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos flies around the country on a private jet, but unlike other cabinet secretaries criticized for misusing government funds, DeVos pays for the flights herself.
In fact, DeVos travels on a on “personally-owned aircraft,” spokeswoman Elizabeth Hill told the Associated Press Thursday.
“The secretary neither seeks, nor accepts, any reimbursement for her flights, nor for any additional official travel-related expenses, such as lodging and per diem, even though she is entitled to such reimbursement under government travel regulations,” Hill said.
“Secretary DeVos accepted her position to serve the public and is fully committed to being a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars.”
Several other cabinet secretaries are being investigated by inspectors general for their use of government chartered planes. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was criticized for flying to Fort Knox, Ky., in August to watch the eclipse with his wife, Louise Linton, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Mnuchin also allegedly requested a military plane for his honeymoon to Europe this summer to provide secure communications during his trip, but the Department of the Treasury found an alternative system that didn’t require a government-owned plane.
Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price may have chartered private flights around the East Coast last week even though commercial transportation was available, Politico reported.
Five Democratic members of Congress requested that the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General review Price’s use of chartered flights for potential misuse of federal funds. In a letter, which relies heavily on Politico’s reporting, the congressmen ask the OIG to review whether Price followed federal regulations regarding air travel.
Price’s office contends that the travel between Sept. 13 and 15 was conducted in accordance with federal guidelines, and that the travel department at HHS checks “every possible source for travel needs including commercial, but commercial travel is not always feasible,” Charmaine Yoest, assistant to the secretary for public affairs, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement.
“Within an incredibly demanding schedule full of 13-plus hour days, every effort is being made to maximize Secretary Price’s ability to travel outside Washington to meet with the American people and carry out HHS’s missions,” Yoest said. “Secretary Price is currently managing public health and human services recovery and preparation efforts for 3 major hurricanes.”
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