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170 lawmakers sign resolution calling for Pruitt's resignation

The Hill logo The Hill 4/18/2018 Miranda Green
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A group of 131 representatives and 39 senators signed a resolution introduced Wednesday that calls for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign.

The resolution states that the co-signers have "no confidence in the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and [are] calling for the immediate resignation of the Administrator."

Highlighted within the resolution are concerns about Pruitt's use of taxpayer money, "dramatic" budget cuts and waivers given to employees to work at connected companies while still employed by the EPA.

"The Agency is hemorrhaging staff and experts needed to protect the health, safety, and livelihood of millions of people of the United States, with more than 700 employees of the Agency having left or been forced out of the Agency during his tenure as Administrator," reads the resolution.

The lawmakers argue that Pruitt is failing to uphold the responsibilities his job as administrator due to regulation rollbacks and actions to lower environmental protections at the agency they say should remain "science-based."

"Whereas Administrator Pruitt has failed to exercise the enforcement authorities of the Agency, which are necessary to the fulfillment of the mission of the Agency, and has hampered career officials and experts from efficiently doing their jobs without political interference," the resolution reads.

The resolution, signed entirely by Democrats, attracted the most senators to ever sign a resolution calling for a Cabinet official's ouster, according to their press release.

Notably absent from the letter were the signatures of the three Republican members of Congress who previously called for Pruitt to resign or be fired: Reps. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.).

A number of Democrats have called for Pruitt's resignation or firing since news broke at the end of March that he rented a $50-a-night condo from the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist. Pruitt has maintained that the arrangement was ethical and approved by the agency's ethics office after the fact.

The administrator has attracted criticism from the left since ever before being confirmed. Pruitt was asked more than 1,000 questions during the nomination process and passed through confirmation with the fewest votes ever for an EPA administrator.

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