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 TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump 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 GrahamPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Graham warns Trump on Taliban deal in Afghanistan: Learn from 'Obama's mistakes' Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid 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 BarrassoIf Democrats want gun control, they must first concede defeat Conway: Republican concerns about gun reform 'all reconcilable' Five proposals Congress is eyeing after mass shootings 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 CurbeloOvernight Energy: Warren edges past Sanders in poll of climate-focused voters | Carbon tax shows new signs of life | Greens fuming at Trump plans for development at Bears Ears monument Carbon tax shows new signs of life in Congress Democratic lawmaker pushes back on Castro's call to repeal law making illegal border crossings a crime 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. 
 
“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.