DeVos uses her own jet and pays for it out of her own pocket, her office said
Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price flew on five private jets for work trips last week
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos uses her own private plane for work trips and pays for it herself, her office said Thursday.
Her office told CNN she has never requested the use of any government aircraft. The Associated Press first reported the arrangement.
DeVos is extremely wealthy; Forbes has estimated her worth at upwards of $1 billion.
The travel of Cabinet officials has been under scrutiny since it was revealed that Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price flew on five private jets for work trips last week, costing taxpayers thousands of more dollars than had he flown commercially. And it was reported earlier this month that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asked the White House about the possibility of using a government jet for his European honeymoon this summer before later withdrawing the request.
In contrast, DeVos travels on a personally owned aircraft, accompanied by her security detail and, whenever possible, additional support staff, at no cost to US taxpayers, Education Department spokesperson Liz Hill told CNN.
DeVos “neither seeks, nor accepts, any reimbursement for her flights, nor for any additional official travel-related expenses, such as lodging and per diem, even though she is entitled to such reimbursement under government travel regulations,” Hill said.
She added that DeVos is “fully committed to being a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars.”
Speaking on background, an Education Department official told CNN that all of DeVos’ travel is in accordance with the Department of Education’s ethics guidance and governmental travel regulations.
DeVos isn’t the first wealthy Cabinet official to use her own plane for work travel. Penny Pritzker, the commerce secretary under President Barack Obama, used her own jet at her own expense and didn’t seek any reimbursement for its use during her tenure.