losangelesnewstoday.com May 20, 2018

Congress grills EPA chief over allegations of ethics violations

27 April 2018, 11:20 | Katrina Lee

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt

Trump's EPA chief may face tough questions on Capitol Hill

Numerous reports are "half truths" and "twisted stories" and are coming from sources who "want to derail the president's agenda", he added. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Pruitt said the booth "has not been certified as a SCIF, and it does provide protection on confidential communications".

Democrats excoriated him as the hearing opened.

Pallone also said he was confident that further investigations into the reports of lavish trips and pricey office purchases will "affirm what I've come to believe is true: that you are unfit to hold public office and undeserving of the public trust".

Republican Rep. John Shimkus of IL, chairman of the panel questioning Pruitt, called the allegations a "distraction but one this committee can not ignore".

Pruitt's popular with Republicans for his aggressive drive to dismantle regulations, but his outlandish personal behavior has attracted notice across party lines. "I'm simply not going to allow that to happen".

"If you can't debate the policies in Washington, you attack the personality".

After a string of stinging revelations detailing excessive expenditures on security, travel and raises for staff, Pruitt can expect to be grilled and called to answer for his decisions.

Pruitt dodged the question: "I've responded to many of those questions here today with facts and information".

Pruitt has always been considered a foe of environmental activists.

Documents later showed EPA chief of staff Ryan Jackson signed off on the raises and indicated he had Pruitt's consent.

Chris Gayle smashes 104, helps Kings XI Punjab beat Sunrisers Hyderabad
Co-owned by Preity Zinta , the KXIP defeated star-studded Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by four runs in its previous game. Yusuf Pathan (19 off 13 balls), who was dropped on 5 by Yuvraj Singh, became Mohit's second wicket in the fifth over.

Pruitt said Thursday he delegated authority to Jackson to give the raises but didn't know the exact amounts.

Sarah Greenwalt, Pruitt's 30-year-old senior counsel, received a raise of over $66,000, bringing her salary to $164,200.

Pruitt said that he wanted to address the "very troubling media reports over the last few weeks", saying that he was "not afraid to admit that there's been a learning process" for him as EPA administrator. In addition to questions of spending and ethics, Mr. Pallone is expected to push Mr. Pruitt on his many moves to roll back the Obama administration's climate change policies.

"I have nothing to hide", Pruitt said in his opening remarks at a packed morning hearing by the House Committee on Energy and the subcommittee on the environment.

Instead, members of the House of Representatives demanded answers from Pruitt over his first-class travel, his raises given to staffers, the below-market condo he rented from a lobbyist, and the news that staffers who protested him were reassigned. Perrotta, who advocated for the administrator flying first-class as a security precaution, enlisted a business associate to conduct a security sweep of Pruitt's office and endorsed other privacy measures, had planned to step down this summer. Coal executive Bob Murray, whose company Murray Energy donated more than $1 million to Trump-linked outside spending groups previous year, dismissed criticism of Pruitt as "much ado about nothing" in an interview with TIME earlier this month.

"Obviously, Scott Pruitt has got some serious questions to answer", said Thune, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate. However, Pruitt maintained that he was "not aware" of the amounts, or that he was bypassing certain procedures. "She is a friend".

Even some supporters in Congress are growing impatient, with GOP lawmakers demanding greater accountability and telling Pruitt allies to stand down from praising him.

A lawyer and former Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt is known to prepare meticulously for congressional hearings, with his office schedule showing he often blocks off hours huddled with top political aides.

Republican leaders and administration officials have expressed concerns about how hard it would be to go through another confirmation process with a new nominee should Pruitt resign. The person was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity. It is expected that the chairman of the full House energy committee, Greg Walden of OR, and the ranking Democrat, Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey, will attend the morning hearing. "They're just that, they're allegations, and I think we need to hear what he has to say, and I think there will be good explanations".

Other News

Trending Now

Europe will get to see the OnePlus 6 before China and India
Separately, OnePlus is set to unveil the OnePlus 6 at an event in London on May 16, a day ahead of its launch in China and India. That fits in with several rumours we'd seen suggesting the OnePlus 6 would launch earlier in the year than the OnePlus 5 .

Bye, Steve Komphela. Your Resignation Was Overdue, Say Amakhosi Fans
Later, riot police, sheltering behind a white armored vehicle, shot volleys of tear gas into the stands. The club have since tweeted the news of Komphela resignation following the loss.

Eagles-Jaguars London tilt set for Week 8
Because they finished last in the NFC West a year ago , they will also face the last-place teams from the NFC South and NFC East . Vikings' road opponents: Chicago, Detroit , Green Bay, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, New England, New York Jets and Philadelphia.

Alexander Downer sparks odds to crash for royal baby's name
The Loose Women have defended the Duchess of Cambridge for having an "immaculate" appearance after the birth of her third child . Mary's Hospital in central London. " George and Charlotte are very conventional, historic, English names", mentioned Williams .

Students rally at Capitol against gun violence
Forest High School was in lockdown mode after a 19-year-old, who was not a student, shot and injured a 17-year-old male student. Only two states have strengthened gun legislation since the Parkland school shooting in February - Florida and Vermont.

Dallas Police Officers Wounded In Shooting Outside Store, Suspect Arrested
The female officer was shot in the face and remains in critical condition, according to a local media source. The chief asked for people to keep the officers, their families and department in their prayers.

Westbrook Vows to Shut Down Rubio in Game 4
After the game, Westbrook was asked about how the Thunder allowed Rubio to play so well, and he responded with a guarantee. He could be looking at a solid number of minutes in Game 3 as well considering his positive influence in the last game.

New York Mets Move Matt Harvey To The 'Pen
In 26 innings over four starts, he's allowed 26 hits, four home runs and four walks. He hoped his final three innings would buy him one more start.

Mourinho: What I've told Pogba about Man Utd demands…
Alli danced in front of the Tottenham supporters after putting his side 1-0 up after 11 minutes during Saturday's FA Cup semi-final. "We let ourselves down, it's very disappointing".

Trump, Japan's Abe Agree to Heighten Trade Talks
The two remain united, he said, in their goal to have a complete and verifiable denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Trump pulled the US out of TPP days after his inauguration but recently said he might be open to rejoining.