Saturday, April 29, 2017

The stunning hypocrisy of Scott Pruitt’s request for around-the-clock bodyguards
"When it comes to the Trump administration’s plan to slash federal spending and constrict the federal bureaucracy, few agencies have attracted as much attention as the Environmental Protection Agency. The Trump administration’s proposed “skinny budget” cuts the agency’s budget by 31 percent, by far the largest cut of any federal agency. And recently leaked EPA documents outline plans to cut the agency’s workforce by 25 percent, while eliminating some 56 programs including programs aimed at monitoring and protecting public health and the environment. One part of the agency, however, could get a boost under the Trump administration’s plan: Administrator Scott Pruitt’s personal security detail. According to a draft of the budget obtained by the Washington Post, the Trump administration has asked for 10 additional full-time security staffers to be added to the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement. Those staffers would have one job — acting as constant bodyguards for Pruitt. Adding 10 full-time staffers to Pruitt’s security detail would more than double the size of the security detail normally afforded to EPA administrators. And that would come at a time when the Trump administration is proposing sharp cuts elsewhere in the EPA’s Office of Criminal Enforcement, with the budget calling for reductions in civil and criminal enforcement of almost 60 percent. That would leave the agency with just $4 million to investigate environmental crimes and impose penalties. And while it’s unclear how much Pruitt’s increased detail would cost the agency, estimates for the cost of U.S. Marshals dedicated to protect Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is roughly $8 million over an eight-month period."