Home / U.S. / Scott Pruitt, under an ethical cloud, faces lawmakers today

Scott Pruitt, under an ethical cloud, faces lawmakers today



When Mr. Pruitt begins his testimony before the first of two committees of the House, with his political future that seems to hang by a thread, here are some key points to keep in mind.

The hearings

Photo



sir. Pruitt on Capitol Hill on Thursday morning.

Credit
Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press

At 10 a.m. Eastern time, House Energy's Environment and Energy subcommittee began questioning Mr. Pruitt, broadcasting live here. At 2 pm. Subcommittee of Assignments of the Chamber in the Interior and E.P.A. Your session will be broadcast live with Mr. Pruitt here.

Congressional committees did not call Mr. Pruitt with the specific intent to question him about his alleged misconduct. Rather, both events are routine budgetary audiences, conducted by House panels with oversight of EPA spending and policy priorities.

Graph

The behavior that put Scott Pruitt at the Federal Investigation Center

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency faces nearly a dozen federal investigations into its practices. We break down the accusations by category.



OPEN Graphic


But since many of the accusations surrounding Mr. Pruitt have to do with his spending money from the agency, an issue that has caused discomfort on both sides, lawmakers are expected to question it aggressively about that expense and the alleged waste and the ethical errors associated with it.

Alleged infractions

Reports of ethical failures and sumptuous expenses have accumulated in recent weeks. Here is a primer on the 10 investigations on Mr. Pruitt's activities, and a chart that breaks down the categories of infractions.

The Office of Government Accountability, a watchdog agency, concluded last week that Mr. Pruitt violated the law with a purchase of a secure $ 43,000 telephone booth for his office. Meanwhile, Mr. Pruitt is still under fire for extensive first class travel, including two weeks of travel in June for the administrator and his aides that cost taxpayers more than $ 120,000, and to spend up to $ 3 million on security in his first year in office.

Separately, Mr. Pruitt is under scrutiny to rent a condominium from the wife of a lobbyist who had business before the EPA. In addition, Mr. Pruitt seems to have used unorthodox measures, and eluded approval of the House. Blanca, to give substantial increases to the favored political appointees.

Meanwhile, staff members who questioned these activities were marginalized or degraded.

Pruitt's preparations [19659019] Mr. Pruitt knew that he was most likely attacked, possibly for hours. According to a memorandum of points of debate reviewed by The New York Times, his strategy seems to be to blame his staff for his activities.

Based on the note, Mr. Pruitt is expected to say that he now flies by coach when he travels; that others were responsible for giving two close assistants who used to work for him in Oklahoma substantial wage increases; and that E.P.A. officials who were reassigned or demoted after challenging their expenses had performance problems.

Republican change of mind

Upon assuming office last year, Republicans hailed Mr. Pruitt as Trump's "deregulation czar" as he moved to eliminate one environmental regulation after another. Although questions about their flight and security expenses began to rise earlier this year, many conservative Republicans remained at his side.

But in the last days that support has diminished. In perhaps one of the most ominous signs for Mr. Pruitt, this week his former political patron and Oklahoman colleague, Senator James Inhofe, called for more investigations into the alleged infractions of his protégé. The will of the Republicans to take off their gloves when they aggressively question one of their previous favorites could indicate that Mr. Pruitt has lost support almost every quarter in Washington.

The reaction of the White House

It is Mr. Trump's opinion that the EPA administrator matters the most at the end of the day, and his Twitter account can offer an idea of ​​Mr. Pruitt's fate. Two weeks ago, Mr. Trump tweeted his support to Mr. Pruitt, writing : "While Security spending was somewhat more than its predecessor, Scott Pruitt has received death threats due to his audacious actions At the EPA, record the clean air and water while saving billions of dollars, the rent was above the market rate, the travel expenses are good, Scott is doing a great job! "

On Wednesday, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president's press secretary, said a White House review of Mr. Pruitt's ethics issues was "ongoing" but offered no details. "We are evaluating these concerns and we hope that E.P.A. administrator will answer for them and we will keep them informed," he said.

Continue reading the main story

.


Source link