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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 TrumpSenators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Democratic fury with GOP explodes in House Georgia secretary of state withholds support for 'reactionary' GOP voting bills 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 GrahamPassage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is the first step to heal our democracy Progressive support builds for expanding lower courts McConnell backs Garland for attorney general 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 BarrassoHaaland courts moderates during tense Senate confirmation hearing Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing 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 CurbeloHouse GOP lawmaker unexpectedly shakes up Senate trial The Memo: Historic vote leaves Trump more isolated than ever The Memo: GOP and nation grapple with what comes next 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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyGrassley says he'll decide this fall whether to run in 2022 Yellen deputy Adeyemo on track for quick confirmation Durbin: Garland likely to get confirmation vote next week 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.