Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) is calling for the immediate resignation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Welch has co-sponsored a House "no confidence' resolution (H.Res. 834) in response to Pruitt's reported ethics violations, misuse of taxpayer funds, and policy actions that have undermined the agency's core mission at expense of the environment, public health and science.
"Enough is enough," Welch said. "In 14 short months, Administrator Pruitt has gutted the EPA's core mission to safeguard the air we breathe and the water we drink. Throughout his tenure, he has defiantly thumbed his nose at the taxpayer with reckless spending on travel, security and office amenities. He will go down as the worst Administrator in EPA history. It's time for him to go."
Welch's action follows numerous revelations about Pruitt's ethical violations, conflicts of interest, and misuse of taxpayer dollars:
- The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office determined that the EPA violated federal law by purchasing a $43,000 soundproof phone booth for Pruitt's office and then concealing the purchase from Congress.
- Pruitt received a sweetheart deal in renting a room in a Capitol Hill condo owned by a lobbyist, paying just $50 a night and only when he slept there.
- Pruitt has spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for travel perks while traveling with an excessive entourage of staff and security.
- Pruitt has reportedly reassigned or demoted EPA staffers who questioned his spending habits at the same time the EPA Inspector General is investigating him for giving unusual pay raises to favored aides.
- Pruitt has deployed EPA enforcement officers to provide round-the-clock security for him with questionable justification.
In addition to flouting ethical standards, Pruitt has executed a long list of policy actions at the expense of the health, safety, and livelihood of American families.
- Under Pruitt, the EPA is hemorrhaging staff and experts needed to protect the public health and the environment.
- Pruitt has repeatedly overridden the recommendations of EPA scientists in order to provide relief to industry.
- Pruitt has delayed the effective date of environmental 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 his enforcement authorities and duties to investigate and deter pollution violations.
Pruitt has undermined science, purging advisory committees of independent scientists and replacing them with industry advocates.