Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says he's cut cost of pricey doors

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that his department has nearly cut in half the $139,000 bill for replacin...

Posted: Mar 16, 2018 6:24 AM
Updated: Mar 16, 2018 6:24 AM

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Thursday that his department has nearly cut in half the $139,000 bill for replacing six historical doors in his office.

The six-figure cost drew headlines last week as the spending of several Trump administration Cabinet secretaries has been in focus.

"We got it down to $75,000," he said at a House Natural Resources Committee hearing Thursday. "It was 139 -- I was reading the article, too, how could doors be $139,000? So I asked the question."

Zinke spokeswoman, Heather Swift, said the secretary "directed that the contract be modified to change the scope of the project for a substantial cost savings."

"We are still negotiating down the cost and don't yet have a final contract," she said.

Swift said last week the replacement doors were ordered at the request of career staffers due to long-standing maintenance issues.

According to a career facilities staffer, the exterior doors leak both water and air, damaging the historic flooring, and have been held together with cardboard and duct tape, Interior said last week. The company contracted to make the replacement fiberglass doors has experience designing doors to meet security needs.

The interior doors were damaged during an ongoing building renovation project, the facilities staffer said in a statement.

Zinke said the episode shows the need for "a little more flexibility or common sense" in laws.

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