Grijalva: Zinke Proves This Administration Preaches Service Cuts for Taxpayers While They Blow Your Money on Easy Living

Washington, D.C. – In response to the recent Washington Post story revealing that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and his staff chartered a flight from Las Vegas to Zinke’s home state of Montana on a private plane owned by oil and gas executives, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) pointed out that the Trump administration preaches service cuts to the American people while it blows hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on high-end travel. The Zinke revelation comes shortly after Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price was revealed to have spent approximately $300,000 in taxpayer money on charter flights rather than flying commercial at a fraction of the price.

A Department of Interior (DOI) spokesperson told the Post that Zinke’s flight to Montana cost taxpayers $12,375.

“This administration tells us there’s no money for Medicare, Medicaid, public education or enforcing environmental standards, but there’s plenty for them taking twelve-thousand-dollar flights instead of sitting in coach,” Grijalva said. “Secretary Zinke has the nerve to blow your tax dollars on easy living and then tell oil executives that a third of his own workforce isn’t loyal to the Trump administration. Loyalty to this White House means treating taxpayer money like a piggy bank. He’s the one with the ethics problems, not the employees he threw under the bus. Firing other Interior Department employees for ethical lapses is a fine step, but he needs to follow the same standards he applies to his team.”

Grijalva called out Secretary Zinke earlier this week for his comments about Interior Department employees, which he made before a group of oil and gas industry executives.

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