Ever since being nominated as head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt has been under the eye of many considering his well known feelings against potential overreach of the agency. His tenure as the head of the United States’ environmental enforcement entity has been mired in rollbacks of regulations and accusations of wasting taxpayer dollars on expensive travel and inordinately elaborate security details for himself. Recently, Pruitt was even put to task during an interview with Fox News over his agency’s unapproved raises to two staffers. This has given Pruitt the dubious distinction of being one of the Presidential Cabinet’s more controversial members.
Now, it’s been revealed that the critics of the current administration are not the only ones looking at Pruitt with a discerning eye. Multiple bodies within the federal government are currently looking into the EPA’s Chief’s behavior over the last year including career officials, Democrats, Republicans, and even fellow members of the President’s Cabinet.
Within the EPA itself, the internal watchdog has been looking into a number of Pruitt’s activities. The watchdog is investigating Pruitt’s excessive use of security details (costing taxpayers at least $3 million) and flying first class on government money instead of coach (costing $105,000). Pruitt is also being looked at for potentially violating anti-lobbying laws by meeting with the National Mining Association over the Paris Climate Agreement, and the aforementioned pay raises to political staffers without approval from Congress.
Both Democratic and Republican lawmakers from the Senate Environmental Committee and the House Oversight Committee has inquired into Pruitt’s use of taxpayer money for inappropriate means. The latter’s head, Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy, in particular is looking into the condo that Pruitt rented from the wife of an oil and gas lobbyist for $50 a night. The Government Accountability Office has also concluded that Pruitt spending $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth without asking Congress first and even the Office of Management and Budget’s head Mike Mulvaney has opened his own probe on Pruitt. It remains to be seen how this will turn out for the beleaguered EPA chief.