House Republican says Pruitt should resign

House Republican says Pruitt should resign
© Greg Nash

Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickHere are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act House approves anti-LGBT discrimination Equality Act This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination MORE (R-Pa.) is calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOn The Money: Conservative blocks disaster relief bill | Trade high on agenda as Trump heads to Japan | Boeing reportedly faces SEC probe over 737 Max | Study finds CEO pay rising twice as fast as worker pay Overnight Energy: Democrats push EPA to collect 4K in 'excessive' Pruitt travel expenses | Greens angered over new rules for rocket fuel chemical | Inslee to join youth climate strikers in Las Vegas Democrats push EPA to collect 4K from Pruitt for 'excessive airfare expenses' 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 CurbeloDisinvited GOP lawmaker turns up at Dem hearing Overnight Energy: 2020 rivals rip Biden over expected 'middle ground' climate plan | Dems cancel plans to invite Republican to testify on climate change | House passes .2B disaster aid bill over Trump objections Dems cancel plans to bring in Republican as climate change witness MORE (Fla.), Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers Ex-GOP Rep. Denham heads to lobbying firm K Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems MORE (Fla.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikHillicon Valley: Lawmakers seek 'time out' on facial recognition tech | DHS asks cybersecurity staff to volunteer for border help | Judge rules Qualcomm broke antitrust law | Bill calls for 5G national security strategy Bipartisan House bill calls for strategy to protect 5G networks from foreign threats Here are the eight Republicans who voted with Democrats on the Equality Act MORE (N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoK Street giants scoop up coveted ex-lawmakers The 31 Trump districts that will determine the next House majority LoBiondo launches consulting firm 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.