Scott Pruitt must go

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt can’t keep his name out of the headlines – from reports that he used his official position in an attempt to acquire a Chick-Fil-A franchise for his wife, to reportedly having his security detail pick up his dry cleaning and drive him around on official time to several Ritz Carlton locations in search of a specific kind of lotion. You can add this to the list of other absurd Pruitt stories: excessive security spending, exorbitant travel, a soundproof phone booth, a bulletproof desk and nearly $1,600 spent on fancy pens – all bought and paid for by the American taxpayer. 

While I continue to be appalled that someone who has been put in a position to serve the American people would so shamelessly seek to enrich himself, I am no longer surprised that Mr. Pruitt behaves this way. This is who Mr. Pruitt is. It’s what he has very clearly done throughout his career and, unfortunately, I have no reason to believe he will stop anytime soon. 

Mr. Pruitt is an embarrassment. It is a stain on our democracy that he still holds this once esteemed position. And it is an abject failure that so many Republicans in Congress have chosen to turn a blind eye to the seemingly endless ethical shortcomings that should have led to Mr. Pruitt’s removal a long time ago. Surely, the Trump Administration could find someone to run EPA who supports the agency’s mission and does not brazenly abuse the office and misuse taxpayer dollars. Mr. Pruitt must go now. 

Until then, I’ll keep fighting for answers on Mr. Pruitt’s seemingly endless ethical scandals. On Thursday, I wrote to the EPA inspector general to request that he add to his current investigations and look into Pruitt’s efforts to help his wife secure a franchise with Chick-fil-A. And on Friday, I reiterated my call for Administrator Pruitt’s resignation. 

We can and must do better than this. Americans deserve an EPA Administrator who will work to carry out the agency’s mission to protect the public’s health and our environment. Enough is enough.