Two Republican lawmakers call for Pruitt to step down or be fired

Two Florida GOP lawmakers on Tuesday called for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittCourt sets in motion EPA ban on pesticide linked to developmental issues Scientific integrity, or more hot air? OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden proposes billions for electric vehicles, building retrofitting| EPA chief to replace Trump appointees on science advisory panels | Kerry to travel to UAE, India to discuss climate change MORE to either resign or be fired by President TrumpDonald TrumpCaitlyn Jenner says election was not 'stolen,' calls Biden 'our president' Overnight Health Care: FDA authorizes Pfizer vaccine for adolescents | Biden administration reverses limits on LGBTQ health protections Overnight Defense: US fires 30 warning shots at Iranian boats | Kabul attack heightens fears of Afghan women's fates | Democratic Party leaders push Biden on rejoining Iran deal MORE.

Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloCheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women House Democrats call on Republicans to return Marjorie Taylor Greene donation Republicans race for distance from 'America First Caucus' MORE (R-Fla.) appeared to be the first Republican lawmaker to publicly request Pruitt’s dismissal. Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenBottom line Bottom line Democrats elect Meeks as first Black Foreign Affairs chairman MORE (R-Fla.) echoed his call shortly after.

In a Tuesday afternoon tweet, Curbello said Pruitt’s “corruption scandals are an embarrassment to the Administration, and his conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers.”


“It's time for him to resign or for [Trump] to dismiss him.”

Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said in a statement that she was on the same page.

“I agree with my colleague, Carlos, that the EPA administrator should resign,” she said. “When scandals and distractions overtake a public servant’s ability to function effectively, another person should fill that role.”

The comments come amid numerous controversies centering on Pruitt. On Tuesday alone, The Atlantic reported that the EPA chief gave two staffers raises after the White House rejected his request to do so, and The Washington Post reported that one of the staffers helped Pruitt shop for an apartment.

Other recent reports have found that Pruitt rented a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist for just $50 for each day he slept there, the EPA explored leasing a private jet for him and White House chief of staff John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE considered firing him.

Curbelo and Ros-Lehtinen both represent very moderate districts and have been outspoken in their opposition to Trump on a number issues.

Curbelo represents a politically balanced district where Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonAmerica departs Afghanistan as China arrives Young, diverse voters fueled Biden victory over Trump McConnell: Taliban could take over Afghanistan by 'the end of the year' MORE won by 16 points. The Florida Republican consistently faces close elections and has a tough reelection bid ahead of him in November's midterm elections.

A poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and released Tuesday shows Curbelo with a narrow 45-40 lead over Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Curbelo has frequently clashed with Pruitt, other Trump administration officials and the president himself. He’s slammed the EPA head for working to repeal climate change policies, expressing doubt about climate science and opposing the Paris climate agreement.

Clinton won Ros-Lehtinen's district in a district by 20 points, and Democrats expect to win the seat this fall.

Trump expressed support for Pruitt Tuesday, telling reporters, “I hope he's going to be great.” Trump called Pruitt late Monday to say he and other leaders “have your back,” and Kelly made a similar call Tuesday.

Updated at 3:37 p.m.