|Okay was that a gunshot? Did anybody else hear a gunshot? I need some more damn security.|
The administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, historically, has had some measure of government-funded personal security detail. Agents routinely picked Gina McCarthy from the airport, for example, or accompanied her on site visits during her time as EPA administrator from July 2013 to Jan 2017. But Scott Pruitt, the new EPA chief, wishes to be guarded 24/7.
While the draft budget for the EPA obtained by the Washington Post this month shows massive cuts to environment, health, and climate change programs—including the elimination of a program to prevent childhood exposure to lead paint—it also includes a request to hire 10 additional security guards to create an around-the-clock personal security detail for Pruitt, the New York Times reports.
The Times calls it a first for an EPA chief, and notes that the 10 additional agents would more than double the agency’s current security staff, which has hovered between six and eight agents in recent years. Similarly, security detail for education secretary Betsy DeVos has reached unprecedented levels: Typically, the secretary of education is guarded by about six agents from within the Department of Education. Since her contentious confirmation, DeVos has been under the protection of the US Marshals Service, costing $8 million over eight months.
So we reported earlier on the request from Betsy DeVos for additional security after she was blocked by a protester from entering a school, which seems completely unnecessary, but what in the hell does an EPA chief have to fear?
This just makes me wonder at the severity of the policies that Betsy DeVos and Scott Pruitt are planning for their agencies.
If they believe they will result in attempts on their lives, that should give all of us pause.