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 CollinsWarren: Entire country must speak up on GOP healthcare bill Senate rejects ObamaCare repeal, replacement amendment Kim Kardashian to followers: Tell your senators to vote against ObamaCare repeal MORE (Maine), has said she will vote against Trump’s EPA pick. And Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinManchin on GOP lawmaker’s suggestion for a duel with female senators: I’ll ‘step outside with him’ McCain returning to Senate in time for health vote Pressure on Trump grows as Kushner is questioned MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampRegulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Why governors hold power in the battle for GOP healthcare votes Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (N.D.) have both said they will support Pruitt.

Even with the expected absence of Sen. John McCainJohn McCainMcCain votes to advance ObamaCare repeal, replace after vowing to oppose Overnight Defense: House passes Russia sanctions deal | McCain returns to Senate | Watchdog opens criminal probe into M camo mistake Tough road ahead for McConnell on ObamaCare 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.