July 13,2018

Press Contact:

Taylor Harvey, Office of Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

Wyden Statement on Tom Price HHS Inspector General Report

Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued a statement following the release of a report by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General which found that former HHS Secretary Tom Price badly misused taxpayer dollars during his tenure:

“This report confirms Tom Price’s role as the poster child for the rampant waste of taxpayer dollars that has occurred on Trump’s watch – all while he was pursuing dangerous policies that increase families’ premiums and weaken their health care,” Wyden said. “This unseemly saga is a reminder of why public officials need to be carefully scrutinized before the Senate places them in positions of enormous responsibility: Republicans rammed through Price’s nomination in the face of numerous reports of ethical misconduct, and the country was worse off because of it.”

The OIG noted in its audit that the Price’s office failed to conduct a cost comparisons on for any of his chartered flights, as required by federal regulations. In one instance, Price’s office even chartered a plane for a flight from Washington to Seattle, at a cost of $121,000 – which it did not have documentation to justify. The OIG also found that the Office of the Secretary, upon request from the OIG, could not locate travel records for some of Price’s staff, which federal regulations require it to maintain, meaning that the cost to taxpayers could have been even higher than estimated.