EPA chief Scott Pruitt to face more questions from Congress

The embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency will face more questions Wednesday from lawmakers about his conduct and spending since taking over at the agency.

This time, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will testify before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the agency’s budget.

Pruitt is under multiple investigations into the cost of his security detail, travel, pay raises for aides, alleged retaliation against whistleblowers, and his time renting a condo in a Capitol Hill townhouse connected to lobbyists.

On Monday the agency’s inspector general agreed to look into whether he improperly used multiple EPA email accounts for official business.

The ranking Democrat on the committee, Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico, has called for Pruitt to resign and said Tuesday that he will “hold Pruitt accountable for his unethical behavior” in Wednesday’s hearing.

Also on Tuesday, six Democrats on a separate Senate committee with oversight of EPA called for Pruitt to testify before their committee, saying that a new letter from the inspector general directly contradicts Pruitt’s testimony to two House subcommittees last month.

In that letter to Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., on Monday the EPA’s internal watchdog said Pruitt requested a 24/7 security detail before his first day at the agency.

Pruitt is scheduled to testify before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

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