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 CollinsMcConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial GOP can beat Democrats after impeachment — but it needs to do this one thing Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (Maine), has said she will vote against Trump’s EPA pick. And Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinTrump's trial a major test for McConnell, Schumer Poll: West Virginia voters would view Manchin negatively if he votes to convict Trump Pelosi set to send impeachment articles to the Senate next week MORE (W.Va.) and Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampSusan Collins set to play pivotal role in impeachment drama Pro-trade group launches media buy as Trump and Democrats near deal on new NAFTA The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same MORE (N.D.) have both said they will support Pruitt.

Even with the expected absence of Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMartha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter Meghan McCain blasts NY Times: 'Everyone already knows how much you despise' conservative women GOP senator calls CNN reporter a 'liberal hack' when asked about Parnas materials 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.