Wednesday, August 10, 2022

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A lawsuit over the funding of Pennsylvania schools is in the hands of a judge, California launches a student loan debt challenge, and texts show former President Trump seeking donations after the FBI raid.

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Republicans rally around former President Trump after the FBI searches his home for missing archive documents, President Biden formalizes U.S. support for Finland and Sweden joining NATO, and the FDA expands authorization of the monkeypox vaccine.

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People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

Government Watchdogs: Both Pruitt, Wheeler "Wrong" for EPA

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Friday, July 6, 2018   

WASHINGTON – Government ethics and watchdog groups, even some conservatives, are saying Scott Pruitt's resignation as Environmental Protection Agency administrator is long overdue.

During his one-year tenure, Pruitt worked relentlessly to dismantle Obama-era regulations aimed at reducing pollution. But while most conservatives saw him as President Donald Trump's most effective Cabinet member, he started to lose favor over misuse of power and spending a lot more taxpayer dollars than his predecessors on travel and security expenses.

David Jenkins, president of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, thinks Pruitt was never the right person for the job.

"I don't see how anyone on the conservative side of the equation, that's really a conservative – and you know, understands personal responsibility and ethics, moral values, all those things – I don't see how anyone could be supportive of him after all the things that have happened," says Jenkins.

Jenkins says now, Trump should follow the lead of Ronald Reagan, who once was in a similar situation, by appointing someone who sees the value and mission of the EPA. The agency's current deputy administrator, Andrew Wheeler – a former coal-company lobbyist – steps in as acting EPA chief until a permanent replacement is named.

Environmental groups predict the Trump administration will continue its pattern of appointing the least likely candidate to head the agency. Kara Cook-Schultz, director of U.S. PIRG's (Public Interest Research Group) toxics program, thinks the president should take time to really understand the purpose of the EPA.

"Scott Pruitt has failed in the EPA mission to protect human health and the environment, and Americans are less safe today than they should be, due to his poor decisions and leadership," Cook-Schultz said.

And the Center for Western Priorities has noted interim EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler's track record of lobbying to reduce protections for public lands to expand uranium mining.

With Scott Pruitt's resignation, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke becomes the Cabinet member with the most ongoing investigations.


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