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64 House Dems ask Trump to fire Pruitt

The Hill logo The Hill 4/6/2018 Timothy Cama
Scott Pruitt wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The Hill

Dozens of House Democrats asked President Trump on Friday to fire Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt.

The 64 Democrats, led by Reps. Don Beyer (Va.) and David Cicilline (R.I.), listed a whole host of recent scandals dogging Pruitt, saying he has to go now.

"Scott Pruitt's unethical behavior, wasteful use of taxpayer money, and his efforts to undermine the EPA's core mission to protect our environment and public health demand an appropriate response: his resignation or his firing," they wrote.

The signers to the letter cited all of the recent controversies surrounding Pruitt, like his low-price rental of a Capitol Hill condo from a lobbyist couple and his decision to give two aides raises after the White House rejected them.

But they also dug deeper, arguing that his entire time at the EPA has been filled with actions that should disqualify him, like appearing in a video produced by a group opposed to an Obama administration water rule, hiring former banker Albert Kelley to oversee the Superfund program and spending more than $40,000 to install a soundproof booth in his office.

"A man under numerous investigations both for ethical concerns and wasteful spending, who has actively moved to undermine environmental rules and regulations at industry request, is antithetical to the job of EPA Administrator. Mr. Pruitt needs to go," they wrote.

Pruitt has repeatedly defended himself, saying everything he's done has been in compliance with the law and ethics rules and blaming his opponents for the scandals.

The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly went so far as to tell Trump that he should remove Pruitt, but that Trump resisted.

Earlier Friday, Trump tweeted that Pruitt is "is doing a great job but is TOTALLY under siege."

Numerous Senate Democrats have also called for Pruitt to resign or be fired, along with three House Republicans: Reps. Carlos Curbelo (Fla.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.) and Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).

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