Speaker Paul Ryan last week urged the White House to reconsider ousting Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, his longtime friend who had come under fire for often using taxpayer-funded private jets for travel, according to two people with knowledge of the call. John Kelly, the White House chief of staff, called the Wisconsin Republican minutes before the departure was announced Friday afternoon. It was a heads-up call, one White House official said. Ryan urged Kelly to reconsider and touted the Georgia Republican’s experience in Congress and work in the administration, one of the people familiar with the call said. Price has long had the speaker’s ear on policy matters and was part of Ryan’s old “Jedi Council,” a group of fiscally conservative rabble-rousers who used to powwow when Republicans were in the minority.
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