Lawmakers struggle to get Pruitt in front of them

March 09, 2018

By Anthony Adragna and Lauren Garner –

Congressional Republicans are publicly acknowledging what many Democrats have been grumbling about for months — it’s really hard to get EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt into a witness seat.

House and Senate transportation committees have asked Pruitt to testify about the administration’s infrastructure plan, but both were rebuffed, according to sources familiar with the moves. And Pruitt is the only one of President Donald Trump’s key three energy officials not currently scheduled to discuss his agency’s fiscal 2019 budget request next week. Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have already announced trips to Capitol Hill.

Other members of Trump’s Cabinet have proven more willing to answer lawmakers’ questions on the administration’s goals and priorities. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has appeared at two hearings in the last eight days to discuss the administration’s infrastructure plan with lawmakers. She’ll return Wednesday to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee on the proposal, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross will join her.

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