ibusinesslines.com September 21, 2018

Republican senator says EPA chief must slow refinery waivers or resign

16 May 2018, 10:02 | Erica Roy

Scott Pruitt's vision of a 'lean' EPA includes spending a lot of money on himself

Pruitt requested 24/7 security on day one at EPA, internal watchdog says

This time, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will testify earlier than a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the company's finances.

"I'm being asked, really constantly asked, to comment on security and on housing and on travel".

A House committee and the Government Accountability Office also are investigating Pruitt.

Inspector General Arthur Elkins says his office will review the matter despite budget and staff constraints.

"EPA's Protective Service Detail handles security decisions and this particular decision was made before Administrator Pruitt arrived at EPA", agency spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in an email.

Pruitt has been under pressure from mainly Democratic lawmakers in recent weeks over a series of controversies ranging from his use of first-class travel to his 24/7 security detail and costly office renovations - but has retained the support of President Donald Trump and most Republicans for his efforts at EPA to roll back regulations characterized as obstacles to industry.

Udall, a lawyer who like Pruitt previously served as the attorney general of his home state, led the charge for the Democrats.

Pruitt repeated the claim that the extraordinary spending on his personal security was needed because the threats against him have been "unprecedented in terms of quantity and type".

Trump has remained publicly supportive of Pruitt, despite the consistent flood of scandals plaguing Pruitt and his department. EPA's inspector general and congressional committees are now conducting about a dozen investigations into actions by Pruitt and his closest aides. Asked Friday if he still had confidence in the EPA chief, Trump told reporters, "I do".

Several Democrats on the subcommittee, including Senator Diane Feinstein and Senator Patrick Leahy, have called for Pruitt's resignation. He briskly made his way out to a waiting black SUV with tinted windows before driving away.

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