Democrats in Congress want answers on Pruitt

Democrats in Congress want answers on Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and are requesting i...

Posted: Apr 4, 2018 8:23 AM
Updated: Apr 4, 2018 8:23 AM

Democrats in Congress want answers on Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt and are requesting information on at least three issues they're criticizing his handling of at the same time the White House says it's "looking into" Pruitt's housing decisions.

In a letter to House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, Democratic Reps. Elijah Cummings and Raja Krishnamoorthi requested Gowdy hold hearing on the Cabinet secretaries' travel -- citing Pruitt among several high ranking officials who've been criticized for travel costs. The letter referenced documents disclosed by the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington that found Pruitt took a flight to Italy to the G-7 summit that cost taxpayers more than $120,000.

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The letter referenced Cummings' investigation into the "improper air travel," and sent letters to 25 agencies requesting documents on the matter.

"Many agencies -- including the White House -- have refused to provide the information that our Committee has requested to conduct our investigation, and without subpoenas, we cannot effectively investigate this matter," the letter said.

The EPA handed documents to Congress that show new travel expenses from Pruitt, totaling some $68,000 in hotel stays and air travel, The Washington Post reported earlier this month. The EPA justified the travel spending as necessary to ensure Pruitt's security.

The House Democrats' continued: "The extensive use of noncommercial aircraft by multiple members of the Trump Administration is disrespectful to the American taxpayers who foot the bill for these expenses. It is unacceptable that the White House and several agencies have refused to provide our Committee with the documents we need to conduct our oversight responsibilities."

Pruitt has also been facing criticism for renting a room in a condo from Vicki and Steven Hart, lobbyists whose firm has lobbied the EPA on behalf of an Oklahoma energy company, ABC News and Bloomberg reported. His daughter also reportedly lived there while she was interning in Washington.

In the Senate, Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island sent a letter to the EPA's inspector general requesting he investigate Pruitt's living situation in Washington.

"Whether Mr. Pruitt and his daughter paid market rate is one of several questions important to determining whether the living arrangement constituted a gift from a lobbyist -- a potential violation of ethics rules," he wrote in the letter. "I request that you initiate an investigation into the appropriateness of Mr. Pruitt's living arrangement."

Responding to reports about Pruitt's living situation, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement, "From advocating to leave the Paris Accord, working to repeal Obama's Clean Power Plan and WOTUS, and cleaning up toxic Superfund sites that have been languishing for decades, Administrator Pruitt is focused on advancing President Trump's agenda of regulatory certainty and environmental stewardship."

Also in the Senate, Democratic Sen. Ed Markey tweeted that he and some of his Democratic colleagues want answers from Pruitt on meetings he had with oil and auto industry executives.

"My colleagues and I demand answers as to how @EPAScottPruitt came to the disastrous conclusion to gut the critical fuel economy emissions standards," he tweeted Tuesday. "We want to know every meeting Pruitt had with the oil industry and auto industry that dealt with this subject."

Markey's letter came the same day Pruitt announced that the EPA would be reevaluating the agencies emissions standards, telling automakers standards set by the previous administration, "were inappropriate and should be revised."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 250869

Reported Deaths: 5481
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17010171
Hinds16091318
Harrison13250193
Rankin10629208
Jackson10216182
Lee8759141
Madison8186161
Jones6222109
Forrest5917118
Lauderdale5808180
Lowndes5309111
Lafayette491192
Lamar480465
Washington4770123
Bolivar3955106
Oktibbeha390380
Panola365076
Pontotoc361152
Monroe3521104
Warren344597
Union341458
Marshall339165
Neshoba3357152
Pearl River323295
Leflore2992105
Lincoln295685
Sunflower280469
Tate269560
Alcorn262653
Itawamba261159
Hancock260458
Pike259977
Scott244745
Prentiss244052
Yazoo242654
Tippah239749
Copiah239149
Simpson233967
Leake229564
Coahoma228554
Grenada217070
Covington210471
Marion208371
Adams203270
Winston199464
Wayne198730
George197938
Attala193158
Newton189142
Chickasaw182944
Tishomingo182159
Holmes168167
Jasper167735
Clay158233
Stone141520
Tallahatchie139234
Clarke137460
Calhoun135121
Smith119423
Yalobusha116134
Walthall111736
Noxubee110222
Greene109129
Montgomery109134
Carroll104121
Lawrence102117
Perry100531
Amite96825
Webster91924
Tunica86021
Claiborne85525
Jefferson Davis84025
Humphreys82624
Benton81023
Kemper76620
Quitman6838
Franklin65815
Choctaw60013
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53419
Sharkey42417
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 420681

Reported Deaths: 6119
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson61755921
Mobile30058548
Madison26852186
Tuscaloosa20652266
Montgomery18876305
Shelby18421114
Baldwin16176182
Lee12393101
Morgan12175113
Etowah11687168
Calhoun11078200
Marshall10158107
Houston8556148
Cullman7999105
Limestone796274
Elmore7783101
DeKalb767197
Lauderdale752883
St. Clair7502120
Talladega6145108
Walker5880174
Jackson578841
Colbert529873
Blount529283
Autauga515455
Coffee438156
Dale394381
Franklin365248
Chilton335365
Covington326968
Russell326810
Escambia316142
Dallas302896
Chambers281869
Clarke279633
Tallapoosa2607107
Pike247629
Marion244650
Lawrence242547
Winston225535
Bibb214447
Geneva199535
Marengo197829
Pickens196231
Hale175442
Barbour172336
Butler168458
Fayette167126
Cherokee160030
Henry152721
Monroe145017
Randolph138835
Washington137026
Clay126145
Crenshaw118644
Lamar117519
Cleburne117223
Macon114335
Lowndes109535
Wilcox102621
Bullock98728
Perry96919
Conecuh94220
Sumter88826
Greene75723
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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