Top Democrat asks Treasury Dept for copy of Tom Price's check for private flights

Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is asking the Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department for a copy of the travel reimbursement check ousted former HHS Secretary Tom Price pledged to write.

The Maryland Democrat on Wednesday also asked Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, for all information she has on any non-commercial or military flights she has taken since joining the White House, including any trips she took with Price. Under pressure, Price resigned last week, amid Politico reports that he spent at least $400,000 in taxpayer dollars on non-commercial air travel and $500,000 on international military flights. Price's travel scandal has cast an intense spotlight on other Cabinet officials' travel. Cummings urged Conway to come forward with any statements on her trips, even though she "joined Secretary Price on several of these flights."

"Despite the fact that you joined Secretary Price on several of these flights, you have not made any similar public statements indicating whether your own actions were appropriate, whether you will continue to take such flights at taxpayer expense in the future, or whether you plan to personally repay the taxpayers for the costs of your seats on these flights," Cummings wrote to Conway in a letter.

In a separate letter, Cummings asked HHS and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for a copy of the check Price pledged to write the day before he left the administration. On Thursday, Price said he would write a nearly $52,000 personal check to the U.S. Treasury for his share of the travel, but resigned the next day

CBS has also requested confirmation from HHS and the Treasury Department for verification of Price's check, which the Treasury Department declined to answer, citing privacy reasons. HHS has yet to respond. 

"To verify that Secretary Price made his payment last Friday, please provide by October 6, 2017, a copy of any check or other form of payment former Secretary Price submitted to reimburse his expenses for these flights," Cummings wrote. "If you do not have a copy of this payment, please indicate that you have not received it and provide any explanation you have received from former Secretary Price or his representatives for why his payment has not been made."

Multiple top officials in the Trump administration are under scrutiny for their travel practices. Aside from the HHS inspector general's review of Price's travel, the Treasury Department's inspector general is investigating Mnuchin's travel after his reported use of a government plane to view the eclipse in August. The Interior Department's inspector general is looking into Secretary Ryan Zinke's plane use. The Veterans Affairs inspector general is looking into VA Secretary David Shulkin's travel abroad. The Environmental Protection Agency is reviewing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's travel.

  • Kathryn Watson

    Kathryn Watson is a politics reporter for CBS News Digital.