Republican congressman joins calls for Scott Pruitt to resign or be fired
04 April 2018, 01:28 | Isaac Mcdaniel
EPA to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards
Curbelo is one of the most vulnerable House Republicans running for re-election this cycle ― former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won his majority-Latino district by 16 points in the 2016 election ― and he has said he'd welcome Trump's help ahead of the 2018 midterms. "We have your back", according to these officials.
Officials described a sense of déjà vu inside the West Wing as they grapple with a raft of new allegations against Pruitt - just the latest of Trump's Cabinet officials to face ethics and legal questions. Pruitt, the science-denying fossil fuels shill who now serves as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, saw a challenge he couldn't pass up. Pruitt paid $6,100 in rent over six months - well below the usual market rate for luxury living a few blocks from the Capitol building.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed that President Trump spoke with Pruitt and that White House chief of staff John Kelly called Pruitt on Tuesday morning.
To hand out such raises, Pruitt used an obscure provision in the Safe Drinking Water Actafter the White House refused to boost the two women's pay, according to two people with firsthand knowledge of the matter.
The White House has grown tired in recent weeks of the scrutiny of administration staffing after a wave of departures - some voluntary and others forced - weakened morale.
Some conservative groups are pressing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to get rid of the waiver that allows California to set its own rules. The secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and veterans affairs secretary, David Shulkin, both ejected in March, were reportedly told of their fate by Kelly before Trump tweeted the news.
Gas is pumped into vehicles at a BP gas station in Hoboken, N.J.in 2016.The Obama administration moved to almost double fuel-economy standards by 2025, but the EPA now is moving to weaken them.
Responding to reports about Pruitt's shaky footing with the President, EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox hailed Pruitt's accomplishments in a statement on Monday evening.
The EPA also did not provide details on the call.
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"To have arbitrary percentages of our fleet made up of vehicles that aren't going to be purchased", Pruitt said, would be counterproductive.
Pruitt's aides took advantage of that suggestion, heavily pushing it to reporters, which irked Sessions's allies in the administration, who pointed out that the President often floats several people a day for jobs that aren't available.
"No one in America is eager to buy a vehicle that gets worse gas mileage and spews more pollution from its tailpipe", said Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defence Fund.
"This move sets us back from years of advancements by the automotive industry put in motion by states that took the lead in setting emission standards", the statement said.
On Monday, the Trump Administration declared its intent to undo Obama-era global warming regulations placed on America's auto industry.
"The idea wasn't fully baked", said the source, but it comes at a time when the Trump administration is targeting imports, notably placing tariffs on steel and aluminum.
As Politico noted, however, Trump has been known to quickly turn on officials he praises, "as was the case with former national security adviser H.R. McMaster".
He was originally planning to deliver the announcement at a Chevrolet dealership in Chantilly, Virginia, but the owner of the dealership, Jeff Pohanka, told CNN on Monday evening that the event had been canceled.
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