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Politics & Government

Sen. Carper calls for hearings on concerns about excessive EPA spending

Delaware Public Media

Sen. Tom Carper said a recent EPA internal report undermines Administrator Scott Pruitt’s justifications for 24/7 security protections.

Carper and Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse point to Secret Service documents and the EPA report showing no credible threats against the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

The call comes after media reports the EPA spent about $3 million in taxpayer money for security measures like a 20-person protective detail for Pruitt and approving costly first-class flights.

“We have a responsibility to taxpayers to make sure whoever’s in a position of authority is held accountable," Carper said. "We’re just not doing that right now.” Carper also said he wasn’t expecting Pruitt to be as ethically-challenged as he is turning out to be.

“We should lead by example," he said. "And the leadership by example we’re getting from Mr. Pruitt is among the worst I think I’ve ever seen.”

Carper added he’s also troubled that the staffer who approved the internal report was fired Tuesday - the same day the Democratic senators made the information public.

The GOP chairman of the Senate EPA oversight committee, Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso, said he won’t hold hearings.

"I am deeply troubled that members of the committee would publicly release law enforcement sensitive information regarding the safety and security of a cabinet member and his family,” he said.

He also pointed to comments to the press by the EPA assistant inspector general that Pruitt faces a record amount of threats.

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