Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt faces a day-long grilling on Capitol Hill on Thursday, as his performance is being weighed by the White House amid allegation regarding his excessive spending and ethics.
The EPA administrator is currently under investigation for his spending on office furnishings, personnel moves, travel costs, security practices and the link between his housing and a lobbyist.
As a result, Pruitt is at risk of suffering the same fate as Tom Price and David Shulkin whose excessive spending habits of taxpayer’s money cost them their jobs. He is also at risk of losing the support even of conservative backers who have already cut down on their praise of Pruitt.
“I’ve been pleased with the job Administrator Pruitt has been doing—rolling back regulations and restoring the EPA to its proper size and scope, but these latest reports are new to me,” said Senator James Inhofe, a longtime ally who didn’t specify which reports had drawn his concern.
Under Pruitt the EPA has taken various actions to advance President Donald Trump’s agenda, some of which include easing restrictions on power-plant emissions, suspending a clean-water rule and pulling out of the Paris agreement on climate change.
“He has been a very key player in advancing the President’s agenda but some of his transactions and transgressions against logic deserve explanation,” said Ken Blackwell, who strongly supported Pruitt for the EPA job during Trump’s transition “It’s extraordinarily important that he is transparent and comprehensive in his responses and that he measures up.”
During the hearing in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee panel, the EPA administrator won’t address any of the controversial issues which have raised concerns, but will instead underline his efforts to make a “more efficient and effective EPA.”
An administration official said Wednesday that Pruitt had significant obstacles to overcome because “he’s bleeding out support in Congress,” which the official said was a “big telltale sign.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House was “evaluating these concerns and we expect the EPA administrator to answer for them.”