Tags: Donald Trump | Paul Ryan | Trump Administration | President Donald Trump | Tom Price | House Speaker Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan on Tom Price: 'A Superb Health Secretary'

Image: Paul Ryan on Tom Price: 'A Superb Health Secretary'

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis. (John Hart/AP)

By    |   Friday, 29 September 2017 06:59 PM

House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday praised Tom Price as "a superb health secretary" after he quit his Cabinet post, while Democrats hailed the departure as long overdue in light of reports that his travel on private jets has cost American taxpayers more than $1 million.

"Tom Price is a good man," Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican who served with Price in the House, said in a statement.

"He has spent his entire adult life fighting for others, first as a physician and then as a legislator and public servant," Ryan said. "He was a leader in the House and a superb health secretary."

Price, 62, resigned Friday after reports by Politico disclosed that he had taken more than two dozen private flights at taxpayer expense.

He also took trips to Europe, Africa and Asia on military aircraft.

The excursions cost taxpayers more than $1 million, according to the reports, and they are being investigated by the agency's Office of Inspector General and Congress.

President Trump has slammed Price's actions, telling reporters that a decision on his fate would be made later Friday.

The White House announced Price's resignation shortly after Trump's comments.

Price, an orthopedic surgeon, was in his sixth House term when President Donald Trump nominated him as Health and Human Services secretary last November.

He was confirmed by the Senate in February. He also served as chairman of the House Budget Committee.

"His vision and hard work were vital to the House's success passing our healthcare legislation," Ryan said.

"I will always be grateful for Tom's service to this country and, above all, his continued friendship," he added.

Price is the first Cabinet secretary to leave the administration, though Trump's White House has seen the departure of several top staffers.

"I regret that the recent events have created a distraction" from such Trump agenda issues as healthcare and national security, Price said in his resignation letter.

"Success on these issues is more important than any one person," he added.

"In order for you to move forward without further disruption, I am officially tendering my resignation as the Secretary of Health and Human Services."

Price told Trump that "it is an honor and privilege to serve you."

The White House said that Trump would designate Don Wright, deputy assistant secretary for health, as Price's successor.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said on Twitter that whomever Trump named would end Obamacare exemptions for members of Congress.

Former Bush 43 ethics czar Richard Painter raised questions about other White House "jet-setters," including President Trump himself.

But Democrats praised Price's departure, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying that Price "should never have been in this role in the first place."

"The American people deserve a secretary of health and human services who believes in healthcare for all Americans," the California representative said on Twitter.

"It's time for this administration to work with Democrats to improve and update the Affordable Care Act.

"This pivot should start with the nomination of a new secretary who will stop this administration's sabotage of hard-working Americans' healthcare."

Pelosi's Golden State colleague, Rep. Eric Swalwell, told CNN that "it was time for him to go."

"He had lost the confidence of the American taxpayer," he told host Brianna Keilar. "He had wasted, at least a million now, on excessive travel."

Swalwell said that Price's resignation also presented an opportunity for a "healthcare reset" — developing a bipartisan healthcare plan to improve Obamacare.

"Someone who can work with Republicans and Democrats to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and not sabotage it," he said. "I see it as an opportunity."

Other Democrats also took to Twitter:

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House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday praised Tom Price as "a superb health secretary" after he quit his Cabinet post, while Democrats hailed the departure as long overdue in light of reports that his travel on private jets has cost American taxpayers more than $1 million.
President Donald Trump, Tom Price, House Speaker Paul Ryan
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2017-59-29
Friday, 29 September 2017 06:59 PM
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