GOP lawmakers relieved with Pruitt’s departure

GOP lawmakers relieved with Pruitt’s departure
© Greg Nash
Republican lawmakers on Thursday expressed relief that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Saluting FOIA on its birthday Watchdog found EPA employees kept on payroll by Trump appointees after they were fired: report MORE is resigning, removing a significant headache for them.
 
While nearly all Republicans in Congress cheered Pruitt’s policy actions and deregulation, few lawmakers stood up for him following President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' 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 GrahamGraham, Cuellar press Biden to name border czar Trump takes two punches from GOP The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - US gymnast wins all-around gold as Simone Biles cheers from the stands MORE (R-S.C.) tweeted, going on to say that “it has become increasingly clear it was time for a change at EPA.”
 
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 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 (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. 
Rep. Ileana Ros-LehtinenIleana Carmen Ros-LehtinenHigh-speed rail getting last minute push in Congress Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Fla.), who joined Curbelo in April in calling for Pruitt to step down, echoed the approval Thursday.
 
“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.