Senators expected to ask EPA's Pruitt about lavish spending

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"What a silly reason you had to fly first class, because of a danger to you, unless you flew first class", Leahy told Pruitt at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing for the EPA.

Since his testimony on April 26, solid evidence Pruitt may have lied when he told lawmakers that no EPA employees faced retaliation for questioning his lavish spending on premium travel has come to light.

"No, I don't recall that happening", Pruitt said. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., on Monday the EPA's inner watchdog stated Pruitt requested a 24/7 safety element earlier than his first day on the company.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told senators at a hearing Wednesday morning that he does not remember ordering his motorcade to use lights and sirens to cut through Washington, D.C.'s notorious traffic in non-emergency situations - such as a visit to the tony French restaurant Le Diplomate.

A House committee, the EPA's inspector general and the GAO all are investigating various allegations against Pruitt or his administration at EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Inspector General announced that it would grant a request from the Senate to look at Scott Pruitt's use of multiple email accounts.

During hearings last month, Pruitt, who was confirmed February 17, 2017, justified his security spending by citing threats he had received since taking office.

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.

The senator has asked again whether Pruitt gave such an order. The security chief recently took early retirement from EPA amid questions about whether he improperly recommended a business partner for a government contract and outside work he performed as a private investigator for a tabloid newspaper.

The rating Democrat on the committee, Sen.

"We have to determine whether we have sufficient resources-people, time and funds-to do a project in a timely fashion and whether it would preclude our doing other crucial work", wrote Arthur Elkins Jr. "Forget about your own ego and your first class travel and your special phone booths that just make you a laughingstock and your agency a laughingstock".

The EPA chief, ringed by his aides and security personnel, appeared to ignore them.

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