The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency violated the law when it approved a $43,000 soundproof phone booth past year for the office of embattled Administrator Scott Pruitt, a congressional watchdog unit said on Monday.
"Section 710 prohibits an agency from obligating or expending an amount in excess of $5,000 to furnish, redecorate, purchase furniture for, or make improvements for the office of a presidential appointee during the period of appointment without prior notification to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate", reads the report.
Scott Pruitt ran afoul of a 2017 appropriations law and the Antideficiencies Act when creating the fixture, the Government Accountability Office said on Monday in a legal opinion.
The GAO report also said that it concluded that the EPA was in violation of the Antideficiency Act because the agency "obligated appropriated funds in a manner specifically prohibited by law".
The Republicans asked for an array of documents about Pruitt's security detail and its lead member, Pasquale Perrotta, citing "new information" in a letter Friday to the Environmental Protection Agency administrator.
The request also comes amid intensifying scrutiny of Perrotta, the former Secret Service agent at the epicenter of most decisions to boost spending on security at the EPA, including around-the-clock bodyguards for Pruitt and biometric locks in his office.
Pruitt has been under fire from Republican and Democratic lawmakers for expensive travel and other expenses.
Trey Gowdy on Sunday said embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt should go into another line of work if he "didn't want people to be mean" to him. Jackson approved them using the authority granted under an obscure provision in a clean water law, the documents said.
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox did not respond to a request for comment on the hires.