Scott Pruitt Should be 'Under Oath Before Breakfast'

Scott Pruitt Should be 'Under Oath Before Breakfast'

Pruitt is scheduled to appear before the 13-member Senate Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies on Wednesday morning regarding the EPA's 2019 budget - which Trump has proposed to cut by a fourth.

As Pruitt left the hearing room, protesters trailed him through the halls of the Senate office building shouting "Mr. Pruitt, you should be fired!" and "You should be ashamed, Mr. Pruitt".

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt will testify in front of a Senate subcommittee on Wednesday about his agency's budget, exposing him to fresh questions about his travel and security spending.

The questioning was notably more aggressive than during appearances Pruitt made before House subcommittees last month, during which the Republican chairman repeatedly cut off Democrats the moment their limited time expired and allowed Pruitt not to answer.

"There are policies in place regarding the use of lights" and those were followed, Pruitt said.

On Wednesday, Pruitt repeatedly dodged directly answering whether he requested the stepped-up security coverage, saying career EPA officials below him made the final decision.

Udall, describing Pruitt's management of the agency as "disastrous, " again called on Pruitt to resign. It added "Btw - Administrator encourages the use".

Additionally, a USA senator blasted Pruitt for flying first-class because of security reasons, saying no one 'knows who you are'.

Pruitt's preoccupation with his safety came at a steep cost to taxpayers, as his swollen security detail blew through overtime budgets and at times diverted officers away from investigating environmental crimes.


Among the new development's at Wednesday's hearing is Pruitt contradicting an internal email from his security chief that showed he encouraged the use of lights and sirens for non-emergency situations while traveling in a motorcade. That includes flying first class on commercial airliners.

"Nobody even knows who you are", Leahy told Pruitt, who sat stone faced before him.

Pruitt denied having knowledge of EPA concerns and told Capito the agency will hold a C-8 summit next week. "You have used your office to enrich yourself at the expense of the American people". The EPA has the authority to exempt small refineries if they can prove that complying would cause them economic hardship, but biofuels advocates, often from corn-growing states such as Grassley's Iowa, say overusing the waivers kills demand for ethanol. "The possibility of committing perjury could make even Pruitt think twice before giving false statements to Congress again".

For his part, Pruitt took the same approach as he did in a pair of contentious House hearings last month, largely steering clear of addressing the dozen probes he is facing on topics such as the installation of a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office, a cut-rate condo rental from a lobbyist a year ago, and his domestic and worldwide travel expenses.

Mr. Pruitt also confirmed there is a legal fund set up for his personal defense when he was asked about it by Sen. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith, a Mississippi Republican, said she was "most impressed" with his push to ease regulations and clean up a contaminated site in her state.

Schwarzenegger's comment to Pruitt comes amid the release of internal Trump administration emails that revealed a fear within the EPA of a public relations "nightmare" should the suggested standards for fluorinated chemicals in drinking water change.

Pruitt, who did not refer to Hupp by name but called her "a longtime friend, " said that when it came to her assistance, "it's my understanding that all activity there was on personal time".

"Then that's a gift that's in violation of federal law", Udall concluded. Tom Udall said, noting that subordinates of federal officials are prohibited from providing free services.

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