Oversight Dem calls for hearing with Pruitt

Oversight Dem calls for hearing with Pruitt
© Greg Nash

The ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee called for a hearing with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans Dems blast EPA nominee at confirmation hearing Dem senator expresses concern over acting EPA chief's 'speedy promotion' MORE on Thursday over a series of damaging stories surrounding the Trump administration official.

Rep. Elijah CummingsElijah Eugene CummingsOvernight Health Care: Dem chair plans hearing on Medicare for all | Senate GOP talks drug prices with Trump health chief | PhRMA CEO hopeful Trump reverses course on controversial pricing proposal Key House Dem: I don't want to 'punish' drug companies House Dems fire first salvo in drug pricing fight MORE (D-MD) sent a letter to committee Chairman Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyCongress must take the next steps on federal criminal justice reforms Lynch testimony marks final interview of GOP-led probe Comey defends FBI actions on Flynn in House interview MORE (R-S.C.), calling for the committee to investigate several of Pruitt's taxpayer-funded trips.

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“In light of a string of very troubling new allegations, I request that the Oversight Committee hold a hearing next week with sworn testimony from Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and his top aides,” Cummings wrote in his letter.

Cummings went on to accuse the EPA of stonewalling his attempts to ascertain the total cost of Pruitt's taxpayer-funded trips by not providing information about the officials traveling with the EPA chief.

“EPA did not produce any documents in response to the Committee’s request to indicate how many other EPA employees traveled with Mr. Pruitt,” Cummings wrote. “As a result, the Committee has been prevented from determining the full cost of these trips to the U.S. taxpayers.”

The letter to Gowdy comes after Politico reported earlier Thursday that five top agency officials were demoted or reassigned by Pruitt after questioning his management style or spending habits.

Samantha Dravis, a close friend to Pruitt and the senior counsel and associate administrator in the EPA's Office of Policy, resigned last week amid the mounting scandals surrounding her boss.

"She has been looking to leave for a while. A lot of people in the administration wanted her to stay for the year to put her time in but it’s one drama after another. It’s a shit show," a source close to Dravis said this week.