House Republican says Pruitt should resign

House Republican says Pruitt should resign
© Greg Nash

Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickSinema, Fitzpatrick call for long-term extension of Violence Against Women Act Dems seek to rebuild blue wall in Rust Belt contests Congress prepares to punt biggest political battles until after midterms MORE (R-Pa.) is calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittGovernment watchdog probing EPA’s handling of Hurricane Harvey response Wheeler won’t stop America’s addiction to fossil fuels Overnight Energy: Trump rolls back methane pollution rule | EPA watchdog to step down | China puts tariffs on US gas MORE to step down, joining a small handful of GOP lawmakers to do so in recent months.

“Yes, I do,” Fitzpatrick said at a news conference Monday in Horsham, Pa., when asked if he thinks Pruitt needs to resign.

“My standard for calling for resignations is an [inspector general (IG)] report, an IG study, finding some facts, conclusions of law. And there’s way too much stuff now,” he continued, according to video recorded by activist environmental group Friends of the Earth.

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Fitzpatrick said he made his call due to Pruitt’s spending and ethics scandals.

But he also said “Exhibit A” in the case against Pruitt is a study that the EPA allegedly tried to block from public release.

The study looked into the health effects of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a class of man-made chemicals that have been found in drinking water sources lately.

In an email made public last month, an unidentified administration official said the PFAS study drafted by a Department of Health and Human Services agency would be a “public relations nightmare” because it would show health harms at a much lower exposure rate than the EPA had previous estimated.

The congressman and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) called their news conference Monday near a military base in suburban Philadelphia where firefighting chemicals containing PFAS have leached into local water supplies.

That draft study was released last week, and the EPA has said it is committed to properly considering whether the substances need new regulations.

EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox defended the actions of Pruitt and the agency on PFAS.

"This was not an EPA study and thus not our report to release," he said in a statement.

"From our historic national PFAS summit with representatives from over 40 states, first-ever community engagement listening session in New Hampshire today, to our four-step action plan, Administrator Pruitt is taking decisive action to eradicate PFAS from our drinking water."

GOP Reps. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloDems see Kavanaugh saga as playing to their advantage GOP, White House start playing midterm blame game The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal MORE (Fla.), Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenCook moves status of 6 House races as general election sprint begins The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal Trump's Puerto Rico tweets spark backlash MORE (Fla.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikNumber of GOP women in House could fall to World War II levels, Republican CEO says GOP lacks good funding mechanism for women candidates, says Republican CEO Pelosi calls on Ryan to bring long-term Violence Against Women Act to floor MORE (N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker On The Money: Broad coalition unites against Trump tariffs | Senate confirms new IRS chief | Median household income rose for third straight year in 2017 | Jamie Dimon's brief battle with Trump Blue-state Republicans say they will vote against 'tax cuts 2.0' if it extends SALT cap MORE (N.J.) all previously called for Pruitt to step down or be fired.

Fitzpatrick, a freshman, is facing a tough reelection battle this year in a race that election-watchers like the Cook Political Report have declared a “toss-up.”

— Updated at 9:07 p.m.