House Republican says Pruitt should resign

House Republican says Pruitt should resign
© Greg Nash

Rep. Brian FitzpatrickBrian K. FitzpatrickDemocrats seek to calm nervous left Biden's corporate tax hike is bad for growth — try a carbon tax instead Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting MORE (R-Pa.) is calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittSaluting FOIA on its birthday Watchdog found EPA employees kept on payroll by Trump appointees after they were fired: report Oklahoma AG resigns following news of divorce, alleged affair 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 CurbeloDirect air capture is a crucial bipartisan climate policy Biden's corporate tax hike is bad for growth — try a carbon tax instead Cheney fight stokes cries of GOP double standard for women MORE (Fla.), Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Bottom line Bottom line MORE (Fla.), Elise StefanikElise Marie StefanikGOP's Banks burnishes brand with Pelosi veto Former speed skater launches bid for Stefanik seat House GOP leaders say vaccine works but shouldn't be mandated MORE (N.Y.) and Frank LoBiondoFrank Alo LoBiondoVan Drew-Kennedy race in NJ goes down to the wire Van Drew wins GOP primary in New Jersey Amy Kennedy wins NJ primary to face GOP's Van Drew 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.