Energy & Environment

Dem’s bill would ‘honor’ Pruitt by increasing penalties for corruption

A House Democrat wants to "honor" the legacy of former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt by increasing penalties for personal use of public resources.

Rep. Ted Lieu's bill, the E. Scott Pruitt Accountability for Government Officials Act of 2018, would subject senior government officials to up to five years in prison if they use their public office for private gain, as Pruitt was accused of doing before his resigned in July.

"A proclivity for corruption feels like a prerequisite for a cabinet position in the Trump administration," Lieu said in a WEdnesday statement.

"The Executive Branch isn't some get rich quick scheme, but many Trump cabinet officials sure act like it. The drip, drip, drip of grifting from Trump's appointees is corroding our Democracy by undermining faith in our institutions."

Lieu's bill would "help ensure that cabinet officials and other senior public servants can't use their public office for personal gain," he said.

"Thank you to President Trump, as well as former and current Trump Administration officials like EPA Administrator Pruitt, [Health and Human Services Secretary] Secretary Price and Senior White House Advisor Jared Kushner, for their trailblazing work to deepen our understanding of the many types of public corruption," Lieu continued, listing some of the current and former administration officials accused of misusing public resources.

The allegations against Pruitt included spending more than $100,000 on first-class flights, enlisting his staff and security guards to carry out personal tasks for him and assigning staffers to find his wife a job.

Meanwhile, Price stepped down last year after he was accused of improperly using taxpayer funds for charter flights.

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