Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt wants funding to be increased for an armed detail of protectors to provide him 24-hour-a-day protection, seven days a week.
The request comes as President Trump is looking to slash the EPA's budget by 31 percent in fiscal 2018. The budget cuts to the agency have sparked serious concerns within states, Capitol Hill and industry, who are vowing to fight Trump every step of the way.
Pruitt hasn't said why there is a need for additional guards. The New York Times reported that he is looking to add 10 full-time staff security to his detail in the new fiscal year.
The Business Insider reported Thursday that this is the first time a standing head of EPA has asked for a special 24-hour guard detail. Previous EPA administrators have received security protection, but not to that extent. Previous Administrator Gina McCarthy had security protection from the time she left her home in the morning until she returned at night, the Washington Post reported.
The EPA did not explain why the added security is needed, although Pruitt has come under sharp criticism by environmental groups and others who see his appointment as an affront to public health.
Pruitt, who is the former attorney general of Oklahoma, was a leading opponent of EPA regulation before being confirmed to lead the agency and has been labeled by critics as a champion for the fossil fuel industry.