NH Delegation, 170 Members of Congress, Introduce Resolution Calling for EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s Resignation
** Cosponsored by 131 representatives and 39 senators – the most Senators ever to sign on a resolution formally calling for a cabinet official’s resignation **
** Follows repeated abuses of power and ethics violations by EPA Administrator Pruitt **
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Annie Kuster (D-02), joined a group of 170 members of Congress to introduce companion resolutions in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives formally calling on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign. The resolution comes in response to Pruitt’s repeated ethics violations, misuse of taxpayer dollars, and actions that fundamentally undermine the mission of the EPA to prioritize efforts that keep our land, air and water clean, and safeguard environmentally conscious policy priorities.
A total of 39 Senators and 131 US Representatives have cosponsored the resolutions, which are led by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (FL-14). The 39 cosponsoring Senators represent the highest number of Senators in U.S. history to sign on to a resolution formally calling for a cabinet official’s resignation. The full text of the resolution can be found HERE. The full list of Senate cosponsors can be found HERE and the full list of House cosponsors can be found HERE.
“Scott Pruitt has abused taxpayer dollars and broken the law,” said Senator Shaheen. “His behavior is egregious and allowing him to remain in the job contradicts the President’s promise to ‘drain the swamp.’ I voted against him for putting corporate interests ahead of public health, and he has continued to ignore our environmental safety throughout his tenure. It’s time for Scott Pruitt to go.”
“EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has a long record of putting Big Oil and corporate special interests before our environment, the health of our people, and the strength of our economy,” Senator Hassan said. “In his role as EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt has pursued his anti-environment agenda while misusing taxpayer dollars for his own benefit, and we cannot tolerate it any longer. I joined my colleagues in introducing this resolution calling on Administrator Pruitt to resign because our environment and our people deserve much better.”
“From his $43,000 phone booth to his $40,000 taxpayer-funded trip to Morocco to talk about gas exports when the EPA has no role in gas exports, Scott Pruitt has repeatedly demonstrated utter contempt for the rule of law and the ethical behavior required from public servants,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “His $2,400 door is always open to corporate special interests and his big oil cronies, but he’s slammed it shut on the vast majority of Americans who just want clean air and water. It’s time to show Pruitt the door.”
“Scott Pruitt has violated the public trust, and each new revelation about his abuses of power underscore the need for him to be removed as head of the EPA,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “Mr. Pruitt has used his position to cater to corporate special interests rather than serving the best interests of the American people. The concerns of oil and gas companies cannot go before the need to protect the environment and well-being of future generations.”
The resolution follows numerous revelations about Pruitt’s ethical violations, widespread conflicts of interest, and repeated misuse of taxpayer dollars for his personal benefit, including:
- The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office determined that the EPA violated federal law by purchasing a $43,000 phone booth for Pruitt’s office – and then hiding that purchase from Congress.
- Pruitt entered into a sweetheart housing deal to rent a Capitol Hill condo from the wife of a lobbyist – paying just $50 a night, and only paying for the nights he slept there.
- Pruitt has racked up hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills for luxury travel perks, including booking lavish first class and charter flights to Europe and elsewhere, staying in luxury hotels, and traveling with a huge entourage of staff and security.
- Pruitt has reportedly reassigned or demoted EPA staffers who questioned his spending habits at the same time that the EPA Inspector General launched an investigation into Pruitt’s unusual pay raises to favored aides.
- Pruitt has deployed EPA enforcement officers to provide round-the-clock security with questionable justification.
As the lawmakers noted in the resolution, in addition to flouting the ethical standards of his office, Pruitt has done untold damage to the EPA and carried out a long list of actions to benefit his polluter friends – at the expense of the health, safety, and livelihood of American families, including:
- Under Pruitt, the EPA is hemorrhaging staff and experts needed to protect the health and safety of the environment and the American people.
- Pruitt has repeatedly overridden the recommendations of EPA scientists in order to provide relief to industry, like when he reversed the recommendation of his agency’s scientists to ban the use of the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos, which has been linked to brain damage in children.
- Pruitt has delayed the effective date of regulations, eased enforcement of existing regulations, and delayed the implementation of new regulations that are essential to protect public health and combat pollution.
- Pruitt has failed to exercise the enforcement authorities and duties of the EPA, which are needed to investigate and deter pollution violations.
- Pruitt has undermined the science at every turn, purging advisory committees of independent scientists and replacing them with mouthpieces for industry.
Senator Shaheen did not vote for Scott Pruitt and objected to his nomination on the Senate floor for putting corporate interests ahead of “public interest and public health.” Shaheen called for Pruitt to resign earlier this month for misuse of taxpayer dollars. Last year Shaheen called for a reversal of proposed EPA cuts, which would devastate Americans’ clean air and water, and last fall she condemned the Trump administration’s proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan, urging the President to consult with scientists and environmental experts and warning of the environmental and economic consequences that will be felt in New Hampshire, the country and around the globe.