calls on Scott Pruitt, the chief of the Environmental Protection Agency, to step down the escalation on Wednesday, when nearly 170 Congressional Democrats demanded his departure.
A resolution sponsored by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico and Representative Kathy Castor of Florida The resignation of Mr. Pruitt attracted 39 co-sponsors of the Senate. According to Kara Baer, an editor of the Senate Library, it was the largest number of senators ever to call for a resolution demanding the dismissal of a cabinet official.
The resolution will probably go nowhere without republican support that it lacks. However, he underlines the pressure that Mr. Pruitt has already experienced through nine investigations ̵
This week, the Government Accountability Office, often referred to as the Watchdog Arm of the Congress, has determined that E.P.A. broke the law when it spent $ 43,000 on a secure phone booth for Mr. Pruitt. And on Wednesday the director of the White House Management and Budget Office told Congress that he also wanted to examine Mr. Pruitt's spending habits.
Jahan Wilcox, an EPA spokesman, said in a statement Mr. Pruitt remained focused on his job. "Administrator Pruitt is focused on driving President Trump's regulatory safety and environmental agenda," he said.
Here's a guide to the investigations:
The Office of the Inspector General of the EPA, an independent investigative unit within the Authority, opened an investigation last summer in Mr. Pruitts Pile Travel to Oklahoma.
Early reports found that Mr. Pruitt spent 43 out of 92 days either in his home state or traveling to or from there between March and May 2017, at a cost of $ 12,000 to taxpayers. This investigation has since been extended twice: once to include Mr. Pruitt's use of private and military flights, including to Oklahoma, and later to undertake a four-day trip, which Mr. Pruitt took to Morocco in December.
Legislators have argued that the Morocco trip, while Mr. Pruitt promoted natural gas exports, was in due due since the E.P.A. plays no formal role in the monitoring of gas exports. According to the agency, the travel costs amounted to about $ 40,000, but the flights cost $ 17,000.
Meeting with the industry
The E.P.A. Inspector General has also commenced an investigation into a meeting that Mr. Pruitt held with the National Mining Association.
Rep. Frank Pallone, the House's leading Democrat for Energy and Commerce, petitioned after a report that Mr. Pruitt had encouraged the coal industry group to urge President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. Critics of the meeting said the discussion violated anti-lobbying laws for government officials.
Both the E.P.A. and the industry group has denied that Mr. Pruitt has done anything wrong.
Meanwhile G.A.O. examines Mr Pallone's complaint about a video by the National Cattleman's Beef Association, in which Mr Pruitt appears. In the video produced last year by the lobby organization, Mr. Pruitt describes his opposition to a clean water rule dating from the Obama era
. Pallone and others instructed the auditors to investigate whether the promotional video involved inappropriate use of taxpayers' money.
There are a number of investigations into Mr. Pruitt's 24-hour security detail.
His security staff, with at least 20 employees, is more than three times the size of the previous EPA administrators. Agency officials have confirmed that E.P.A. So far, she has spent about $ 3 million in salary, overtime, and travel expenses for the security team.
Two E.P.A. General inspections of the Inspector General deal with Mr. Pruitt's security expenditures, as does the House Oversight Committee. Investigators among others, investigate the role of Pasquale Perrotta, who is in charge of the safety of Mr. Pruitt, in the issue of E.P.A. Sources have confirmed Mr. Perrotta, widely known as Nino, has not responded to requests for comment.
Among the allegations made by watchdog groups, lawmakers and former E.P.A. Officers are that Mr. Pruitt took the security detail about family trips to Disneyland and a Rose Bowl game and that the E.P.A. approved thousands of dollars in bulletproof vests, weapons, and a $ 43,000 secure phone booth that violates spending rules.
The G.A.O. has already decided that the purchase of a secure phone booth by Mr. Pruitt has broken the law.
In particular, the examiners found that the E.P.A. was required to inform Congress about purchases of more than $ 5,000 for office construction and that the agency also violated the Antideficiency Act, which aims to prevent unborn spending.
But the investigations are not finished yet. Democrats in the House and Senate have asked Mr. Pruitt to respond to allegations by Kevin Chmielewski, the former E.P.A. Deputy Chief of Staff that the Administrator also exceeded the spending limit on art loaned by the Smithsonian Institution and the framing of an American flag
Salary increases for AIDS
On Monday, the E.P.A. Inspector General stated what is likely to be the first part of an ongoing investigation into the use of a clean drinking water provision to hire former lobbyists and increase political aides.
Initial documents released this week show that Pruitt's chief of staff, Ryan Jackson, had signed substantial salary increases for two consultants who had previously worked for Mr. Pruitt in Oklahoma. Two Democratic senators have the G.A.O. Also to investigate the surveys, although this investigation is pending the full outcome of the Inspector General's report, aides said
The $ 50-a-night condo
The House Oversight Committee would like to learn more about Mr. Pruitts life agreements last year ,
The E.P.A. has confirmed that Mr. Pruitt paid $ 50 a night to live in a condo owned by the wife of an energy lobbyist who had done business outside the agency. The E.P.A. He made a memo from the agency's ethics bureau stating that Mr. Pruit's life arrangements did not violate the federal giftgiving rules because the rate had "fair market value." However, the ethics bureau later returned with a new report. He said that his staff did not provide all the facts before issuing the ethics approval .
This prompted the highest ethics official of the Federal Government to take the unusual step to send a letter to the E.P.A. ask the Agency for "appropriate measures to combat infringements".
Scientific Advisory Councils
The questions surrounding Mr. Pruit's travel and spending decisions include an investigation on a very different topic: his selection process for members of a Scientific Advisory Board.
More specifically, the G.A.O. It accepted a request from two Democratic senators to deal with the dismissal of panelists who advise on health and scientific affairs. The G.A.O. said that it will look into the role, the political appointee at the E.P.A. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = DE When selecting a new list of advisers, it was more likely to be guided by industry and government regulators than university researchers. Englisch: emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 263 & lang = en.
Undisclosed Email Addresses
In recent days, a watchdog group warned lawmakers that Mr. Pruitt had two secret email addresses other than two known.
Democrats have a
Separately, Senator John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, has berated Mr. Pruitt and asked him to declare his email usage. by the Inspector General, although one was not opened. "During your confirmation hearing, I specifically requested you not to take any action that would make it more difficult for the public or prevent you from accessing your formal written communications under the Freedom of Information Act," Mr. Barrasso wrote to the Administrator.