Feb 25, 2017

EPA chief offers conservative rallying cry ahead of regs assault

Susan Walsh / AP

New EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told a major conservative conference on Saturday to expect action from the Trump administration as soon as next week to start unwinding ex-President Obama's environmental rules.

"There are some regulations that in the near term need to be rolled back in a very aggressive way, and I think maybe next week you may be hearing about some of those," he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He didn't offer details, but the White House is expected to issue executive orders that start rolling back Obama rules to bolster Clean Water Act regulation and cut carbon emissions from power plants.

Why it matters: Pruitt's remarks amounted to a conservative battle cry against EPA that went well beyond his more staid opening address to agency employees last week. He said antipathy toward EPA is "justified," noting: "I think people across this country look at the EPA much like they look at the IRS, and I hope to be able to change that."

How they'll defend the rollback: Pruitt cast Obama's extensive work on global warming as a distraction from EPA's programs on water quality, air pollution, and hazardous waste cleanup. That's a signal that the Trump administration will use the argument to justify its rollback of the climate change regulations.

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Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

Why it matters: It's a boost for Biden, who's widely tipped to be endorsed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) on Wednesday, ahead of this week's South Carolina primary.

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Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.