Another Republican member of the House of Representatives has joined a small number of his colleagues to say he believes Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief Scott Pruitt should step down after a series of spending and ethics scandals.
Rep Brian Fitzpatrick, of Pennsylvania, told reporters Monday at a press conference that he thinks the EPA chief should step down, and that “there’s way too much stuff now” for him to keep his post.
“Yes, I do,” Mr Fitzpatrick said when asked whether he thinks Mr Pruitt should step down. “My standard for calling for resignations is an [inspector general] report, an IG study, finding some facts, conclusions of law. And there’s way too much stuff now”.
Mr Fitzpatrick clarified that he had come to these conclusions after reviewing the various spending and ethics violations accusations levied at Mr Pruitt.
That includes reports that found he spent more than $4m on his security detail, spent thousands on first-class plane travel on the tax payers’ dime, and paid a strangely low DC rent of $50 per night from a landlord who happens to be an oil and gas industry lobbyist who has business in front of the EPA.
The House Republican said that “exhibit A” in the case against Mr Pruitt’s innocence is that he and his EPA allegedly tried to block a report from being released publicly.
That report looked into the health effects of some man-made chemicals that have been found in drinking water recently.
An email made public last month showed that an unnamed administration official wanted the report kept from the public because it would be a “public relations nightmare”, because it would show that the EPA had previously underestimated how health could be impacted at lower exposure rates than previously identified as dangerous.
Mr Fitzpatrick joins just a handful of Republicans who have pulled support of Mr Pruitt. Those Republicans include politicians from Florida, New Jersey, and New York who have called for Mr Pruitt to step down from his post or to be fired by President Donald Trump.
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