Pruitt misses deadline to turn travel docs over to Congress

Pruitt misses deadline to turn travel docs over to Congress
© Greg Nash

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats chart course to 'solving the climate crisis' by 2050 | Commerce Department led 'flawed process' on Sharpiegate, watchdog finds | EPA to end policy suspending pollution monitoring by end of summer Watchdog: EPA hasn't provided 'sufficient justification' for decision not to recover Pruitt travel spending OVERNIGHT ENERGY: DOJ whistleblower says California emissions probe was 'abuse of authority' | EPA won't defend policy blocking grantees from serving on boards | Minnesota sues Exxon, others over climate change MORE has failed to meet a key deadline in his ongoing first-class travel saga.

Pruitt has yet to provide key travel documents to Rep. Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyMore than two dozen former prosecutors, judges, active trial lawyers support DOJ decision to dismiss Michael Flynn case Sunday shows preview: As states loosen social distancing restrictions, lawmakers address dwindling state budgets John Ratcliffe is the right choice for director of national intelligence — and for America MORE (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who requested documentation and explanation surrounding Pruitt's first- and business-class work travel. The deadline to answer Gowdy was March 6.

In a letter addressed to Pruitt at the end of February, the Republican congressman pointed out concerns over the EPA chief's reported use of a "blanket waiver" to fly first class, a method Gowdy called prohibited.

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"Clearly, federal regulations prohibit a blanket waiver to fly first class except to accommodate disabilities or special needs. Instead, a waiver for each flight is required in order to fly first or business class when traveling on official government business," Gowdy wrote.

A spokesperson for the EPA said the agency has been in touch with Gowdy's office in an attempt to get the information to him.

"We have been in contact with Chairman Gowdy and are accommodating his request as quickly as possible," EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement.

Pruitt has made headlines in the past few months over news that he primarily uses first class and business class when flying, including on short destination flights such as between Washington, D.C., and New York City.

Pruitt promised in February that his next flight would be in coach.

The Washington Post reported in early February that Pruitt had spent thousands on travel, racking up at least $90,000 in taxpayer-funded travel over just part of June.

Pruitt is just one of a few current and former Trump cabinet members who have been scrutinized over their use of public funds.

In September, then-Health and Human Services Secretary Tom PriceThomas (Tom) Edmunds PriceRep. Banks launches bid for RSC chairman Doctors push Trump to quickly reopen country in letter organized by conservatives Coronavirus in Congress: Lawmakers who have tested positive MORE resigned following an uproar over his use of private jets for official business.

Just last week there was a report that the Interior Department reportedly spent $139,000 upgrading the doors in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's office.

This was just after reports that the Department of Housing and Urban Development was planning to reportedly spend $165,000 on “lounge furniture” for its D.C. office.