Senate Democrats urge resolution calling for removal of EPA chief Pruitt

UNITED STATES- AUGUST 4 Sen. Mike Rounds R-S.D. Co Chairman of the Former Governors Caucus is interviewed by Roll Call in the Capitol

Pressure from Congressional investigators mounted today on Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to answer questions over his use of taxpayer money to fly first class over perceived security threats, and his rental of a Capitol Hill condo linked to an energy lobbyist.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso of Wyoming said he will not hold oversight hearings to examine alleged ethical lapses by EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, including on exorbitant spending on security. But there have been more questions and calls for investigation into whether it created a conflict of interest for Pruitt to rent from the wife of a lobbyist whose firm represented clients with interests before the EPA.

Tom Carper of DE and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, said in a letter Tuesday to Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) that they were provided with an internal EPA document that said a threat assessment did not justify such expenses.

Pruitt - who's facing scrutiny over a dizzying number of controversies involving hefty traveling, security and lodging expenses - entered the Environmental Protection Agency with a determination to overhaul the department's mission to protect the environment.

Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., announced Wednesday that Democrats in both the House and Senate plan to introduce resolutions calling for Pruitt to resign or be fired.

Pruitt's staff has said the outsized security spending and his first-class flights were justified because of "unprecedented" death threats against him.




Committee Democrats, led by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the panel, have requested Gowdy to subpoena the EPA for knowledge and preserve a listening to with Pruitt and prime EPA officers.

Pruitt was barely confirmed in February of 2017 in a 52 to 46 vote. Susan Collins of ME opposed his nomination.

As Pruitt and his allies proceed to push once more in the direction of criticism of his conduct in office, Democrats have continued in order so as to add to the drumbeat of requires oversight and accountability on the EPA.

"Regrettably, the President is obliged to withdraw your appointment in the face of the advice from the governing board of the EPA which does not find you a suitable candidate for the position", the letter, signed by the Secretary to President, Nana Asante Bediatuo, explained. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote Barrasso on Tuesday asking for into Pruitt's security spending. The letter quoted from the internal EPA documents but the full documents were not made public.

Continuing with the use of bold and underline print, the memo states that "u$3 sing all source intelligence resources, EPA Intelligence has not identified any specific credible direct threat to the EPA Administrator".

After The Post detailed dozens of first-class trips the administrator took during his first year in office, EPA security officials disclosed in February that verbal confrontations with members of the public had prompted Pasquale "Nino" Perrotta, the head of Pruitt's detail, to recommend last spring that he switch from coach to premium-class seats whenever possible.

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