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Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) has written a letter to Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, seeking answers about his frequent first-class travel that has been publicly scrutinized, the Washington Examiner reports.

Why it matters: Concerns from the outgoing South Carolina congressman signal that the questions surrounding Pruitt's travel expenditures are extending beyond Democratic criticism and into an actual GOP-led inquiry. Amid the scrutiny, Pruitt recently blamed the "very toxic environment politically" and security decisions for his expensive flights.

The details: Gowdy wants to know how many times the EPA head has flown first class over the last year, whether the EPA granted him a waiver for the flights and whether employees and security staff at the agency traveled first class as well. He is also inquiring about the airfare of such flights, the Examiner reports.

Go deeper: The Trump officials caught splurging on luxury travel

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators unveil $908 billion COVID stimulus proposal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) in the Capitol in 2018. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday proposed a $908 billion coronavirus stimulus package, in one of the few concrete steps toward COVID relief made by Congress in several months.

Why it matters: Recent data shows that the economic recovery is floundering as coronavirus cases surge and hospitals threaten to be overwhelmed heading into what is likely to be a grim winter.

Inside Patch's new local newsletter platform

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Patch, the hyperlocal (and profitable) local digital news company, has built a new software platform called "Patch Labs" that lets local news reporters publish their own newsletters and websites, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: It follows a growing trend of journalists going solo via newsletters at the national level.

Scoop: Politico stars plot new Playbook

Anna Palmer and Jake Sherman. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Three of Politico’s biggest reporting stars plan to launch a competitor to the company’s Politico Playbook franchise, sources tell me. 

Why it matters:  Jake Sherman, Anna Palmer and John Bresnahan will launch a daily newsletter in 2021 as a stand-alone company, the sources say. In effect, they will be competing against the Playbook franchise they helped create and grow.