EPA employees call on senators to reject Trump EPA pick: report

EPA employees call on senators to reject Trump EPA pick: report
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In an unusual show of opposition for federal employees, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) workers have been calling their senators to urge them to reject President Trump’s pick to lead their agency, The New York Times reported Thursday.

Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has sued the EPA more than a dozen times in his current post, alarming many of the agency’s employees, who fear that, if confirmed, he will work to dismantle its progress.

On the campaign trail, Trump railed against the environmental agency, calling it a “disgrace” and vowing to undo federal environmental rules and regulations.

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“Mr. Pruitt’s background speaks for itself, and it comes on top of what the president wants to do to EPA,” John O’Grady, a longtime EPA employee and president of the union representing its workers, told the Times.

Still, the effort to rally the opposition of enough senators to reject Pruitt during his confirmation vote on Friday is a long shot. Only one GOP senator, Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsBipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program A bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Gaming the odds of any GOP tax bill getting signed into law MORE (Maine), has said she will vote against Trump’s EPA pick. And Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell A bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Collins, Manchin to serve as No Labels co-chairs MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampNorth Dakota rep: Trump wants me to run for Senate No room for amnesty in our government spending bill Trump bank nominee gets rough reception at confirmation hearing MORE (N.D.) have both said they will support Pruitt.

Even with the expected absence of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP rushes to cut ties to Moore GOP strategist: 'There needs to be a repudiation' of Roy Moore by Republicans World leaders reach agreement on trade deal without United States: report MORE (R-Ariz.), who is set to attend a security conference in Germany on Friday, Pruitt will likely win the support of 52 senators, securing confirmation.

It is unusual for civil servants, such as EPA employees, to so actively oppose a Cabinet nominee. What is more, the Times reports, the move signifies that Pruitt will likely face strong pushback from his own employees once he takes office.

“What it means is that it’s going to be a blood bath when Pruitt gets in there,” former New Jersey Gov. and past EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman (R) told the Times.