(WASHINGTON) — Lawmakers voiced criticism and support after President Trump asked his embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to resign on Friday.
Price faced sharp rebukes this week for repeatedly chartering private jets on trips that mixed government work with personal business.
Trump told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on Friday that he was “not happy” with Price, before making the final decision to ask for his resignation.
Trump said the now-former secretary’s offer to pay back just $52,000 for the chartered flights was “unacceptable.”
Reaction from Congress continues, but many Democratic lawmakers have jumped on the news criticizing Price via social media.
The few Republicans commenting on Price’s firing include House Speaker Paul Ryan, who defended the former secretary’s leadership on health care policy, calling him “a good man.”
“He was a leader in the House and a superb health secretary,” Ryan said in a statement. “His vision and hard work were vital to the House’s success passing our health care legislation.”
Following Ryan’s response to the firing, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley expressed his hope that Trump “will stress the importance” of avoiding “unnecessary or expensive travel.”
“Those who work for the taxpayers need to get the most bang for the buck at all times,” Grassley said.
Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, wrote in a statement: “I understand and respect Tom Price’s decision, but the news is disappointing. He has had a distinguished career as a physician and public health advocate, and I hope I have the opportunity to work with him again.”
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