GOP lawmakers relieved with Pruitt’s departure

GOP lawmakers relieved with Pruitt’s departure
© Greg Nash
 
While nearly all Republicans in Congress cheered Pruitt’s policy actions and deregulation, few lawmakers stood up for him following President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE’s tweet that he was leaving. Pruitt's resignation came after months of scandals over adherence to ethics and spending rules and allegations that he used his office for personal gain.
 
“I believe the President was right to accept @EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s resignation,” Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senator blocks Armenian genocide resolution Hannity slams Stern for Clinton interview: 'Not the guy I grew up listening to' The Hill's Morning Report - Dem dilemma on articles of impeachment MORE (R-S.C.) tweeted, going on to say that “it has become increasingly clear it was time for a change at EPA.”
Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoTrump announces restart to Taliban peace talks in surprise Afghanistan visit Centrist Democrats seize on state election wins to rail against Warren's agenda Eleven GOP senators sign open letter backing Sessions's comeback bid MORE (R-Wyo.), Pruitt’s main Senate overseer as chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, said that under him the EPA “has rolled back punishing regulations that were hurting American workers and stifling our economy.”
 
But “it has become increasingly challenging for the EPA to carry out its mission with the administrator under investigation,” Barrasso said. “President Trump made the right decision to accept his resignation.”
 
As Pruitt’s scandals started to come to light earlier this year, Republicans initially defended him and dismissed the controversies as his opponents trying to stop him.
 
But as the controversies built up, the GOP became increasingly frustrated with them and repeatedly asked Pruitt to make them stop. 
 
“This step was long overdue. Scott Pruitt was never the right choice to lead the EPA, and his scandal-plagued tenure has been an embarrassment to the Agency, and grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers,” Rep. Carlos CurbeloCarlos Luis CurbeloRepublicans can't exploit the left's climate extremism without a better idea Progressive Latino group launches first incumbent protection campaign The Memo: Bad polls for Trump shake GOP MORE (R-Fla.), an outspoken critic of Pruitt’s who previously called on him to resign, said in a statement.
 
“He was a disaster and an embarrassment from day one, and the country is far better off without him,” Curbelo tweeted. 
 
“I was proud to join my legislative brother, @RepCurbelo, months ago in calling for Pruitt’s removal. That was so many scandals ago. And many degradations of our environment ago,” she tweeted. 
Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyHouse to vote next week on sweeping bill to lower drug prices Trump escalates fight over tax on tech giants Falling impeachment support raises pressure for Democrats on trade MORE (R-Iowa) was initially highly critical of what he saw as anti-ethanol policies from Pruitt, but started to slam him over the ethics and spending scandals as well.
 
“President Trump made the right decision. Administrator Pruitt’s ethical scandals and his undermining of the President’s commitment to biofuels and Midwest farmers were distracting from the agency’s otherwise strong progress to free the nation of burdensome and harmful government regulations,” Grassley said in a statement.