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Dem pushes for oversight on Trump officials using private jets

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A senior Democratic lawmaker is calling on Republicans to ramp up oversight of Trump administration officials’ use of private planes at taxpayer expense.

The Thursday letter from Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, to Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHouse passes bill to fund children’s insurance programHouse GOP to prioritize ethanol, pipeline legislationGOP seeks internal agency spending plansMORE (R-Ore.), calls for the panel to hold oversight hearings.

Pallone cites Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceHHS nominee Azar made millions working for drugmaker LillyGovernment travel paid for by taxpayers must be accountableOvernight Health Care: Mandate repeal sparks fears of premium hikes | HHS nominee to get Senate hearing this month | Trump officials eye work requirements for Medicaid recipientsMORE, who resigned as Health and Human Services Secretary following his extensive use of private planes for travel. He also points to reports of private jet travel by EPA Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Keystone to restart Tuesday | Michigan cuts deal to keep oil pipeline open | Greens, coal gear up for climate rule hearingWe will fight Scott Pruitt’s attempts to scrap the Clean Power Plan in Charleston this WeekMy freedom is on the line to fight climate change, more will followMORE and Secretary of Energy Rick PerryJames (Rick) Richard PerryThe Polar Vortex of 2014 was bad, Perry’s resiliency proposal of 2017 is worseTexas Democratic megadonor dies at 46Nuclear and coal are essential for reliable energyMORE.

Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeReporter assaulted by Mont. congressman sends cease-and-desist letterWhitefish resumes repair work in Puerto Rico after being paidLet’s be thankful for our national parks — before they’re too expensive to visitMORE and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have also both made headlines over their reported travel expenses.

Pallone pointed to previous comments from Walden saying the committee would conduct oversight of the issue “as appropriate.”

“I request that you follow through with your stated intention to conduct oversight on this issue, including scheduling oversight hearings to examine why the aforementioned travel using non-commercial aircraft occurred and whether related taxpayer expenses were warranted,” Pallone wrote to Walden.

“American taxpayers deserve assurances that their tax dollars are not wasted by the government’s highest officials,” Pallone added. “As the Energy and Commerce Committee, we have an obligation to conduct active and responsible oversight of our agencies of jurisdiction.”

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