Monday, April 23, 2018

White House Deterring Republicans From Defending Pruitt, Sources Say

White House officials are cautioning Republican lawmakers and other conservative allies to temper their defense of Scott Pruitt, according to two people familiar with the discussions, in a sign that administration support for the embattled EPA chief may be waning. The warnings come as several top GOP lawmakers have stepped forward to publicly criticize Pruitt in recent days, marking a dramatic turn of fortune for one of the most conservative members of President Donald Trump’s cabinet who has been heralded for dismantling Obama-era regulations. Republicans are now sharpening their criticisms about Pruitt amid a revelation that he met at least once with the lobbyist whose wife rented him a bedroom on Capitol Hill. Pruitt’s performance in front of two congressional committees this week could be key in determining how long he remains at the agency’s helm. The back-to-back House hearings scheduled for Thursday -- nominally on the EPA budget -- are set to be Pruitt’s first public appearance on Capitol Hill since the deluge of damaging revelations that began late last month. The scrutiny also coincides with the arrival of a deputy administrator at the Environmental Protection Agency who could take Pruitt’s place: former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler, who was hurriedly installed as the EPA’s No. 2 official after being confirmed by the Senate 11 days ago...MORE

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