Georgia’s Tom Price may be in trouble again, after an ethics group filed a complaint stating he illegally used campaign funds to support his nomination to Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Price, the Congressman turned Secretary of HHS under the Trump administration, is no stranger to accusations of ethical misdeeds. During his confirmation hearings, it came to light that he had made himself a nice chunk of change trading stocks in the medical industry while influencing legislation in Congress regulating those industries.
Watchdog groups Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 are responsible for highlighting his most recent ethically dubious behavior.
Price’s congressional campaign fund paid $40,000 to America Rising to promote videos and research on the merits of Price’s bid for HHS secretary, according to the complaint, filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Friday.
“Federal law is clear that congressional campaign funds are to be used to support a run for Congress or one’s duties as a Member of Congress–not so you can land a job after Congress. The corrupting potential of campaign contributions is amplified if officeholders can use the funds for their own personal benefit,” said Brendan Fischer, director of CLC’s federal and FEC reform program, in a press release.
The press release and complaint lay out how the $40,000 expenditure is a violation of federal laws, as members of Congress are not allowed to use campaign funds for expenses unrelated to their campaign or the duties of their office.
“In effect, Price for Congress paying $40,000 to America Rising amounted to the use of campaign funds to help Rep. Price get his next job. Using campaign funds to secure future employment outside of Congress is indisputably a personal use,” the complaint reads.
The Federal Elections Commission is now tasked with investigating the complaint, during which Tom Price will be able to respond and defend the use of these funds. If he is found to have violated federal law, he’ll likely face a fine.