"WASHINGTON — Top-ranking Congressional Democrats are calling on a federal watchdog to review whether Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt broke the law by making a video for a private group opposing an Obama-era clean-water rule.
Pruitt flew to Colorado for an August event organized by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, an industry trade association representing cattle producers. While at the ranch, Pruitt recorded a video urging the group’s members to file comments supporting the repeal of EPA’s Waters of the United States rule. The 2015 rule seeks to expand the agency’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act to include smaller streams and wetlands.
In a letter sent last week, the top Democrats on four committees with oversight of EPA asked the head of the Government Accountability Office to issue a formal legal ruling on whether Pruitt’s participation in the video violated federal rules. They cited longstanding prohibitions against federal officials using taxpayer funds 'for publicity or propaganda purposes, and for the preparation, distribution or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet, publication, radio, television, or film presentation designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress.'"