GOP senator says Pruitt is ‘as swampy as you get’

GOP senator says Pruitt is ‘as swampy as you get’
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstTrump holds chummy meeting with Turkey's Erdoğan Overnight Defense: Trump hosts Erdoğan at White House | Says Turkish leader has 'great relationship with the Kurds' | Highlights from first public impeachment hearing Senate Democrats introduce Violence Against Women Act after bipartisan talks break down MORE (R-Iowa) slammed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Trump officials suspend oil, gas production on Utah plots after lawsuit | California bucks Trump on lightbulb rollback | Scientists join Dems in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Scientists join Democrats in panning EPA's 'secret science' rule Overnight Energy: BLM staff face choice of relocation or resignation as agency moves | Trump says he's 'very much into climate' | EPA rule would expand limits on scientific studies MORE Tuesday, calling him “about as swampy as you get.”

“He is about as swampy as you get here in Washington, D.C., and if the president wants to drain the swamp, he needs to take a look at his own Cabinet,” Ernst said at an event organized by Platts, according to Bloomberg News.

The sharp rebuke from a member of President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE’s own party was in response to Pruitt’s ethical and spending scandals, such as renting a condo from the wife of an energy lobbyist for $50 for each night he spent there, and lavish taxpayer spending on security and other costs.

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Ernst’s criticism is fueled, at least in part, by her frustrations over Pruitt’s handling of the federal ethanol mandate under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The Trump administration is due soon to release details of a slate of policies meant to ease the burden of compliance on fuel refiners, while also trying to give some help to the ethanol industry.

The plan is expected to include allowing exported ethanol to count toward the mandate — effectively reducing the mandated volume — while allowing higher ethanol blends to be sold in the summer than are currently allowed.

Ernst and other ethanol supporters say the export provision, along with the EPA’s liberal use of its authority to waive the mandate for struggling refineries, is a betrayal of Trump’s promise to uphold the mandate.

“Mr. Pruitt is breaking our president’s promises to farmers,” Ernst said, according to Bloomberg, adding that Trump at some point may “say it’s time for you to go, but that is up to the president.”