Just a week after the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced that it would be canceling a $31,000 order for a new dining set to decorate Secretary Ben Carson’s office, the Department of the Interior confirmed that it will be spending more than four times that amount to make repairs to the office of Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Clearly, the federal government is sending a message to the American people that says, “It ain’t tricking if you got it.”
Good Morning America cited federal contracting records that show the Interior Department awarded $138,670 to Conquest Solutions LLC of Greenbelt, Md. The agency confirmed to ABC News on Friday that the money would be spent on new doors and repairs to Zinke’s office.
The repairs were supposed to have been completed by the end of November 2017, but the order was later amended for the job to be completed at the end of January.
Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift told ABC News in a statement that Zinke was not aware of the order until it was reported by the Associated Press on Thursday.
“This project was requested by career facilities and security officials at Interior as part of the decade-long modernization of the historic FDR-era building. The secretary was not aware of this contract but agrees that this is a lot of money for demo, install, materials, and labor,” Swift said, according to Good Morning America. “Between regulations that require historic preservation and outdated government procurement rules, the costs for everything from pencils to printing to doors is astronomical. This is a perfect example of why the Secretary believes we need to reform procurement processes.”
Joe Nassar, who is director of the Office of Facilities and Administrative Services at the Department of the Interior, said in a separate statement that the replacement of three sets of double doors in the secretary’s office had been planned since last summer.
He said that the doors had last been replaced 11 years ago, and two sets of doors which lead to the outside need to be repaired. The doors allow water and air into the office during bad weather, causing damage to the wood floors. Those doors would be replaced with fiberglass, and the interior doors would also be repaired, all while preserving current fixtures.
“The cost is reasonable when taking into account there are two sets of double doors, the doors must be custom built, they must meet historic building requirements, includes both sets of door frames, demo of the current structure and installation,” Nassar said, according to Good Morning America. “In order to control costs, the contractual documents included a request to use existing door handles, locks and latches. The contract and the amount also included repairs to the interior double doors.”
Bla bla bla, existing fixtures, bla bla bla.
I think we can all agree that even with the s0-called cost-cutting measures, that is still a lot of money to spend on the repair of some doors.
And let’s remember that Zinke himself has already been called out for spending $53,000 in taxpayer dollars on three helicopter trips.
He’s not the only Trump appointee out there making it rain with government dollars.
As previously mentioned, there was Carson and the $31,000 dining set.
And don’t forget former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, who took $400,000 worth of private jet rides around the country.
And remember when Louise Linton, wife of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, flexed on us poors with an Instagram photo of herself in all her luxury labels exiting a $26,900 Air Force jet ride to Kentucky, all so they could see the solar eclipse from Fort Knox?
Or what about when the chief of staff (a black woman) for Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin took the heat for faking emails so taxpayer dollars could pay for Shulkin’s wife, Merle Bari, to travel to Europe?
The point is that there are many instances of this type of frivolous spending, but the government continues to cut the budgets of programs meant to help the American people.
These appointees are out here riding around and getting like it’s theirs, so they spend it. And we, the taxpayers, continue to get stuck with the bill.
Maybe we are the tricks.