The Scott Pruitt spending scandals keep coming

Here are the stories our D.C. insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a g...

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 10:26 AM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 10:26 AM

Here are the stories our D.C. insiders are talking about in this week's "Inside Politics" forecast, where you get a glimpse of tomorrow's headlines today.

1. Pruitt scandals piling up

There's yet another spending scandal for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Newly released agency documents showed his staff ordered a set of 12 fountain pens for more than $1,500, plus a set of journals that cost more than $1,600.

Pruitt has already been under fire for lavish taxpayer-funded travel and for spending $43,000 on a sound-proof phone booth for his office.

"We've had months and months of stories about Scott Pruitt," Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey said. "And some of these investigations seem to be coming to a head. But so far the President has stood resolutely behind his embattled EPA administrator."

Dawsey said President Trump likes Pruitt because of how well he's done dismantling President Barack Obama's environmental record. "But I don't know how long that can last," Dawsey said.

2. Showdown over Dreamers

House Republicans' long-awaited showdown over immigration may erupt this week.

Politico's Rachael Bade reports that a handful of GOP moderates want to force a floor vote by Thursday on protecting Dreamers, which they can do with a so-called "discharge petition" signed by a majority of House members. They're just a few GOP signatures short of that.

Conservative House Republicans want to kill anything they regard as "amnesty." Speaker Paul Ryan says that's a bad idea. Bade reports Ryan wants to reach a deal with the two rival GOP factions that would avoid a vote.

"They know it would look terrible if a bipartisan bill supported mostly by Democrats passes the GOP-controlled House," Bade said. "But conservatives are unwilling to give moderate Republicans what they want -- which is a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. And without that, the moderates say 'we're going to work with Democrats and go around you guys.'"

3. Human rights at a North Korea summit?

Human rights groups say the North Korean government is one of the most repressive regimes in the world, a totalitarian state that runs huge labor camps for political prisoners and executes anyone who crosses Kim Jong Un.

But that doesn't mean the US plans to bring this up at the North Korea summit, if it happens.

"President Trump said this week when he met with a top (Korean) official that human rights didn't come up," Associated Press reporter Catherine Lucey said. "We know that his priority, obviously, is a nuclear deal. And he's not the first US president to focus on that. But we've heard from lawmakers and human rights activists who are pushing for this not to be completely discarded as part of these talks."

4. California Democrats are nervous

Californians head to the polls Tuesday to vote in a primary election that's unlike any other in the nation. Instead of separate Democratic and Republican primaries, voters will pick from a single ballot with the top two finishers advancing to the general election -- regardless of party.

That presents a complicated math problem for Democrats in House districts they think they can take from Republicans -- but only if they have a candidate on the final ballot. Party leaders are worried that there are too many Democrats running in some key districts, meaning they could splinter the vote and fall out of the top two.

CNN's Manu Raju reports there are two seats in particular that worry Democrats -- both currently held by Republicans but that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

"A lot of money has been spent in the last week by Democrats nationally to try to prevent that," Raju said. "If Republicans are successful Tuesday, they will be buoyed in their effort to keep the House. Democrats will say it is not a total disaster, there are other ways to recapture the House. But no doubt about it, a big test on Tuesday."

5. Questions surround McCain's seat

A weekend tweet from Sen. John McCain on immigration is the latest proof he intends to stir big debates even as he remains away from Washington because of his battle with brain cancer, CNN's John King said.

The Saturday tweet closed a week in which McCain's future was front and center.

Under Arizona law, May 31 was the deadline for ordering a special Senate election in 2018. Now, if McCain's seat were to become vacant, the state's GOP governor would name an interim senator to serve the remainder of McCain's term, which runs through 2020.

There was a fresh wave of speculation early in the week because McCain met with the governor just before the deadline. At least one report about that meeting mentioned Cindy McCain as a potential replacement for her husband.

The pushback was swift.

GOP Gov. Doug Ducey said it was a routine meeting, and that any speculation about a McCain successor was both premature and tasteless.

Cindy's McCain's name has come up in recent months as McCain allies talk through scenarios and discuss their hope that a "McCain person" would be named to any vacancy.

"But sources tell CNN Mrs. McCain was not happy at the mention in news reports this past week," King said. "One source familiar with the situation said it was viewed as a 'cheap shot.' A second, also speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity, acknowledged Cindy McCain's name has come up as a possibility in informal conversations involving McCain allies. But this source said Mrs. McCain cringed at the mention in news reports and had made clear she was not interested."

West Lafayette
Partly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 74°
Kokomo
Mostly Cloudy
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 74°
Rensselaer
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 70°
Fowler
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 74°
Williamsport
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 67°
Crawfordsville
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 68°
Frankfort
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 68°
Delphi
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 69°
Monticello
Partly Cloudy
69° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Partly Cloudy
68° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 68°
Summer returns for the weekend.
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 777417

Reported Deaths: 14039
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1068671818
Lake573071031
Allen43592701
Hamilton37697427
St. Joseph37547568
Elkhart29916472
Tippecanoe23779232
Vanderburgh23714405
Porter19712327
Johnson19067395
Hendricks18320323
Clark13789199
Madison13751350
Vigo12980256
Monroe12717180
LaPorte12655225
Delaware11240198
Howard10874237
Kosciusko9860124
Hancock8896151
Bartholomew8361157
Warrick8257157
Floyd8161183
Grant7478181
Boone7317105
Wayne7281201
Morgan7004143
Marshall6381117
Dubois6346118
Cass6136112
Noble608391
Dearborn607878
Henry6015111
Jackson522077
Shelby518498
Lawrence5046129
Gibson473797
Montgomery465592
Clinton464356
DeKalb463985
Harrison460177
Huntington431582
Whitley422545
Steuben415961
Miami412673
Jasper404657
Knox398391
Putnam390262
Wabash374284
Adams360356
Ripley355571
Jefferson354587
White342654
Daviess3119101
Wells306681
Greene299485
Decatur294793
Posey289635
Fayette288164
Scott287658
LaGrange279173
Clay278649
Washington258138
Randolph248784
Jennings245049
Spencer241531
Fountain239350
Starke232159
Owen227359
Sullivan225143
Fulton211146
Jay204332
Carroll201023
Orange194956
Perry194939
Vermillion183944
Rush179427
Tipton174748
Franklin174535
Parke159116
Pike143934
Blackford139032
Pulaski125148
Newton124337
Benton111215
Crawford106817
Brown106743
Martin92715
Warren89115
Switzerland8658
Union73910
Ohio59011
Unassigned0429

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events