House Oversight chairman requests details on Zinke's $139K door

House Oversight chairman requests details on Zinke's $139K door
© Greg Nash

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey GowdyHarold (Trey) Watson GowdyRising star Ratcliffe faces battle to become Trump's intel chief Cummings announces expansion of Oversight panel's White House personal email probe, citing stonewalling Pelosi says it's up to GOP to address sexual assault allegation against Trump MORE (R-S.C.) is requesting answers from the Interior Department on the hefty $139,000 price tag to replace the secretary's office doors.

Gowdy on Thursday sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ryan ZinkeRyan Keith ZinkeNew policy at Interior's in-house watchdog clamps down on interactions with press Overnight Energy: EPA proposes scrapping limits on coal plant waste | Appointee overseeing federal lands once advocated selling them | EPA lifts Obama-era block on controversial mine Latest appointee overseeing federal public lands once advocated to sell them MORE requesting a briefing on his plans to replace the doors and documentation for the costs associated with the replacement.

"The committee is aware of numerous reports about the need for replacement doors at the Department and allegations of excess cost," Gowdy wrote in the letter.

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As part of his request, Gowdy asked the Interior Department to provide documentation on the acquisition process, estimates, invoices and related contracts related to the door.

The Interior Department signed a contract in September to pay $138,670 for the "Secretary's door." The door in question, according to the department, was a replacement balcony door that leaked when it rained.

Interior press secretary Heather Swift previously said that Zinke was not aware of the door upgrades and that the replacements were part of an order requested under the previous administration.

"The secretary was not aware of this contract but agrees that this is a lot of money for demo, install, materials, and labor," Swift said in a statement.

"Between regulations that require historic preservation and outdated government procurement rules, the costs for everything from pencils to printing to doors is astronomical. This is a perfect example of why the secretary believes we need to reform procurement processes."

Interior later said it was looking for alternative bids for the door.

Zinke said during a House budget hearing last week that he had successfully negotiated the price down to $75,000.

Last month Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonCarson's affordable housing idea drawing undue flak Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules it says are too lax MORE withdrew an order for dining room furniture that included a $31,000 table.

This is not the first time that the House oversight committee has gotten involved in alleged government waste.

In February the committee sent a letter to Environment Protection Agency Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittEnvironmentalists renew bid to overturn EPA policy barring scientists from advisory panels Six states sue EPA over pesticide tied to brain damage Overnight Energy: Trump EPA looks to change air pollution permit process | GOP senators propose easing Obama water rule | Green group sues EPA over lead dust rules MORE asking him to provide documents regarding his consistent use of first- and business-class travel on government-funded trips.

Pruitt was given two weeks to respond but missed the deadline. EPA has since said it has responded to Gowdy.

"The letter explains, EPA’s Protective Service Detail identified specific ongoing threats associated with Administrator Pruitt’s travel and shifted his class based on certain security protocols that require him to be near the front of the plane," EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement Friday.

Gowdy has given Zinke until April 6 to respond to his request.