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 CollinsSenate Gang of Four to meet next week on immigration Republicans agree — it’s only a matter of time for Scott Pruitt Skyrocketing insulin prices provoke new outrage MORE (Maine), has said she will vote against Trump’s EPA pick. And Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — Trump caves under immense pressure — what now? Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral Manchin up 9 points over GOP challenger in W.Va. Senate race MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampHeitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up Supreme Court rules states can require online sellers to collect sales tax Election Countdown: Family separation policy may haunt GOP in November | Why Republican candidates are bracing for surprises | House Dems rake in record May haul | 'Dumpster fire' ad goes viral MORE (N.D.) have both said they will support Pruitt.

Even with the expected absence of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDon’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act Meghan McCain rips Trump's 'gross' line about her dad Trump's America fights back 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.