Senate Democrats are formally calling for Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt to resign or be fired, citing allegations of ethical lapses and questionable spending on travel and security.
Clearly irked over Pruitt's refusal to satisfy the committee's requests, Gowdy demanded the administrator "Provide the requested documents and information as soon as possible, but no later than April 25, 2018".
Pruitt also wanted to remove the EPA seal from memorabilia including leather-bound notebooks and fountain pins, with his name to be featured more prominently.
Former Gov. Chris Christie said he expected Pruitt to eventually resign, saying "I don't know how you survive" earlier this month on ABC's "This Week". It's the latest sign that ethics points raised largely by Democrats over Pruitt's spending at EPA may nonetheless unfold all through the aisle.
The appointment of Acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr Peter Abum-Sarkodie, has been withdrawn, a letter from Office of the President has said. President Donald Trump has indicated on Twitter that Pruitt is safe in his post for now.
After taking charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly wanted to change the agency's logo because it reminded him of a marijuana leaf, The New York Times reported on Wednesday.
Pruitt has been mired in controversy for months over reports of the administrator's purported ethical lapses, including ostentatious spending at taxpayer expense on first-class flights, expensive hotels, pricey office desks and a privacy booth and a questionable rental agreement with a lobbyist couple.
A Senate vote could come Thursday on the nomination of Andrew Wheeler to serve as EPA's deputy administrator. Tom Carper, the ranking member, and Sen. Kathy Castor of Florida; Diana DeGette of Colordao; the top Democrat on the oversight and investigations subcommittee; and Paul Tonko of NY, the top Democrat on the environment subcommittee.
Between the EPA's inspector general and the Government Accountability Office, Pruitt now faces at least five inquiries into his actions.
On Tuesday, two Democrats on the Environment and Public Works committee, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, wrote Barrasso on Tuesday asking for into Pruitt's security spending. The Wyoming Republican lashed out at his Democratic colleagues, accusing Carper and Whitehouse of selectively quoting the documents and improperly disclosing "law enforcement sensitive information" without the approval of EPA or the Secret Service. EPA officials have said that various threats against Pruitt, including verbal public confrontations, led the head of his security detail to recommend that he fly in the front cabin of planes, both to provide a "buffer" from the public and also so that he could board and exit more quickly.
The Democrats also obtained a February 14 assessment from EPA's Office of Homeland Security Intelligence that concluded "EPA Intelligence has not identified any specific, credible, direct threat to the EPA administrator".
However, some lawmakers and top EPA officials say that, although such posts may be frequent, there's little evidence to suggest that any of them were direct threats requiring a response or that they warranted Pruitt's frequent use of first-class and business-class tickets and a 20-person security team to protect him from the general public.