Wheeler faces questions over Pruitt spending
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler was questioned Wednesday on his decision to not seek reimbursement from his predecessor Scott Pruitt for nearly $124,000 in expenses an internal watchdog deemed “excessive.” Wheeler said he did not know whether the EPA had the authority to recover the money from Pruitt during a House Appropriations Committee hearing in response to questions from Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.). “They didn’t specify what authority we would have to recoup that money,” Wheeler said of the watchdog report. Regarding rulemaking for corporate average fuel economy standards, he said that career officials were weighing in, but that it would be “inappropriate” to send every comment to the White House since “sometimes comments from different staff contradict each other.” Wheeler also defended President Trump's proposed cut of more than a quarter of the agency's funding in his fiscal 2021 budget request. "How do you justify the president's cuts to programs to ensure that we have clean and safe drinking water?" asked Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-Mich.).