Democrats Not Letting Up Attacks On Scott Pruitt


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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Scott Pruitt is no longer leading the Environmental Protection Agency, but that hasn’t stopped congressional Democrats from going after his work.

Scott Pruitt submitted his resignation as EPA Administrator, closing the curtain on a seemingly never-ending news cycle of controversies emanating out of his agency. While he may be leaving Washington, D.C., and heading back to his home state of Oklahoma, the attacks against his legacy won’t be.

House Democrats will attempt to add an amendment to the fiscal 2019 Interior-EPA spending bill that would block the White House from enforcing any new rules made during Pruitt’s tenure until the EPA inspector general concludes its review of investigations into his conduct. Such an action would keep Pruitt’s name in the headlines and — at least momentarily — scale back his ambitious deregulation agenda.

Democrats are looking to add other amendments that would: Block spending for energy exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, strike out language repealing the Clean Water Rule, roll back provisions that limit the Endangered Species Act, limit offshore drilling and other amendments.

The House Rules Committee will meet to consider these proposals, along with over 100 other amendments, should be included in the $35 billion EPA-Interior spending bill.

Considering the GOP majority in Congress, it is highly unlikely Democrat’s anti-Pruitt bill will be passed.

President Donad Trump announced on June 5 that Pruitt had submitted his resignation. The move came after mounting criticism over a number of actions taken by Pruitt during his tenure as EPA leader. The former Oklahoma attorney general was criticized for a condo rental agreement he made with the wife of an energy executive, a $43,000 sound proof phone booth, first-class air travel and other moves that raised ethical questions. (RELATED: Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler Addresses The EPA)

Before the controversies engulfed his legacy at the EPA, Pruitt implemented one of the most ambitious deregulatory agendas ever seen. Working in conjunction with Trump, Pruitt began the withdrawal of a number of Obama-era environmental regulations, including the Clean Water Rule, the Clean Power Plan and roll back of vehicle emission standards, among many other things.

With Pruitt gone, Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler has taken over the reins of the EPA for the time being.

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