Jun 21, 2018, 8:04 PM ET

WH proposal would disband security details for Pruitt and at other agencies

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A new proposal from the White House to streamline security personnel for government agencies would do away with embattled Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt’s controversial and costly security detail.

The proposal, buried in the administration’s latest government reform and reorganization plan, suggests assigning the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) to protect branch heads, effectively centralizing security needs for the EPA and other agencies under the Marshals’ umbrella.

“Rather than employing separate protective details with separate resources and authorities,” the proposal explains, “the USMS would professionalize and standardize this mission across multiple Executive Branch agencies.”

While Scott Pruitt’s name is not explicitly mentioned in the proposal’s text, the EPA chief has drawn scrutiny for the cost of his 24/7 security detail.

The U.S. Marshals Service already provides protective security for federal courts and judges, as well as certain top executive branch officials, including Education Secretary Betsy Devos and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Under this proposal, the Marshals’ role would expand to include the Departments of Labor, Energy, Commerce, Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

PHOTO: Surrounded by security agents, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt steps out of his armored SUV as he arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committees Environment Subcommittee on Capitol Hill April 26, 2018 in Washington.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE
Surrounded by security agents, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt steps out of his armored SUV as he arrives to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Environment Subcommittee on Capitol Hill April 26, 2018 in Washington.

Last month, ABC News reported that EPA had spent more than $3.5 million on the administrator’s security team since taking office, significantly more than his two predecessors.

Documents reviewed by ABC News indicate that the two previous EPA administrators under the Obama administration, Lisa Jackson and Gina McCarthy, spent $1.9 million and $2 million, respectively, on security payroll and travel costs during their first year in office.

Agency officials justified the cost and nature of Pruitt’s security detail as a response to an "unprecedented number of threats" against him. Because of the threats, the EPA says, Pruitt and his security team needed to fly first class – the $3.5 million figure includes those costs.

At least two investigations into reported threats against Pruitt are still ongoing, and the EPA's inspector general is looking into the cost of Pruitt's security detail.

ABC News’ Jack Date and Stephanie Ebbs contributed reporting

News - WH proposal would disband security details for Pruitt and at other agencies

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  • Deep Cover

    "... officials justified the cost and nature of Pruitt’s security detail as a response to an "unprecedented number of threats" against him." Did someone threaten to take away his used Trump Hotel mattress?.

  • K. E. King

    WHY do ANY Agency heads need "security"? Answer: they don't except to gratify their egos. If they are properly doing their jobs, they do not NEED additional protection, and if they are not doing their jobs -- we don't need them and won't miss 'em. Most importantly, Pruitt pulled his "security" from the Criminal Enforcement office depriving his agency of the ability to investigate and enforce the most serious violations of environmental laws and regulations (just what Trump and Pruitt want). Send the agents back to environmental crime, and the Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agents back to their jobs of protecting our resources and prosecuting evil doers. Meanwhile, let Zinke and Pruitt open their own doors, carry their own briefcases and look out for themselves!

  • Prophet With Honor

    Little Man Syndrome.

  • Verity Pendelton

    One of the most horrible men in this administration, along with Zinke.

  • BurmeseDude

    The job that Pruitt performs, seems to only involve wasting tax payers' exorbitant amount of money, rolling back any protections from Obama's era, receiving unethical perks and favors, having EPA employees run around for his errands, and getting a nice job/gig for his wife.

    He's enriching personal assets with his job. Hey there you go. He's Enriching Personal Asset chief.

  • fmd160

    Moving the protection from one agency to another isn't going to cover-up the abuse that has already happened, with no absolute possibility that it will really change the problem at all. It's just a step to remove the focus to a problem that has been ignored by the Trump Administration.

  • Erwin Schrodinger

    Who is the security detail supposed to protect him from? Mother nature? I hear she is pi$$ed at him.

  • TexasVulcan

    Seems like coal companies would want to pay for Pruitt's security. They could protect him from those horrible radical environmentalists.

  • bee's knees

    Maybe we could just dump Pruitt and hire someone who isn't universally despised AND actually wants to protect the environment.

  • Truthfully

    Republicans saving OUR TAX DOLLARS Again??

    The Republicans come in and think we gave them a BLANK Check??

    Time to VOTE Out the trump enablers!!!

  • Prophet With Honor

    My former boss served as Deputy and Acting Secretary of a large agency. For eight years he had ONE driver/bodyguard,
    Then again, he was a man.

  • Independent

    I know a way to save money but I do not think Pruitt would like my suggestion

  • Nearl45 61

    Just another curr in this Administration.

  • Indie6050

    Why does this guy (Pruitt) still even have a job there ?