A coalition 64 House Democrats sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Friday urging him to fire EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“We formally request that you ask Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign,” the Democratic House members wrote the president. “Scott Pruitt’s unethical behavior, wasteful use of taxpayer money, and his efforts to undermine the EPA’s core mission to protect our environmental and public health demand an appropriate response: his resignation or his firing.”
Pruitt is accused of misusing taxpayer dollars for travel purchases, giving two of his staffers pay raises against White House orders, and striking a controversial deal with an energy lobbyist to pay a lower renting fee than those typically charged in D.C.’s marketplace.
Renting the condominium from the energy lobbyist has become the focal point of controversies surrounding Pruitt.
Steve Hart, an energy lobbyist, and his wife, Vicki, rented Pruitt a bedroom in their Capitol Hill condominium for a reduced market rate of $50 a night. The Harts offered Pruitt a six-week living arrangement at the condominium while he was making his transition from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C.
The couple reportedly established a leasing agreement with the $50 a night rate that would run from February through April 2017. The Hart’s became increasingly frustrated with Pruitt for overstaying his welcome and requesting an extension on a number of occasions. Ultimately, the couple decided to force him out and change the locks. Steve and Vicki needed Pruitt to leave to open the room up for another tenant, the Harts reportedly told him in July 2017.
House Democrats who signed the letter noted the various scandals, but also appeared equally concerned that Pruitt is actively working against the mission of the agency. Specifically, the Democrats believe he “has taken efforts to weaken the agency of its scientific expertise,” worked to “marginalize staff experts,” and worked to “reduce the size of the agency.”
“Mr. Pruitt needs to go,” the Democrats wrote in their final words to the president.
Trump favors Pruitt, believing him to be an ally within the administration and someone who is uniquely capable of pushing the administration’s deregulatory agenda.
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