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Pruitt misses deadline to turn travel docs over to Congress
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt 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 Gowdy (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.
“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 Price 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.
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