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 TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration 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 GrahamCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Democrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal Warren: Officials have duty ‘to invoke 25th amendment’ if they think Trump is unfit 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 BarrassoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Senators highlight threat from invasive species 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 CurbeloTrump suggests Heller lost reelection bid because he was 'hostile' during 2016 presidential campaign Trey Gowdy joins Fox News as a contributor GOP rep will ‘probably’ support measure to back Paris climate pact 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-LehtinenComstock joins K Street firm Yoder, Messer land on K Street Ex-GOP lawmaker from Washington joins lobbying firm 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. 
Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySmaller tax refunds put GOP on defensive High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Senate approves border bill that prevents shutdown 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.