Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt told lawmakers during a combative congressional hearing on Thursday that allegations of ethical issues are untrue, but Democrats weren’t having it.
Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY) ripped Pruitt for his “seemingly endless misconduct” and “what appears to be a propensity for grift.”
Tonko elaborated on Pruitt’s “wasteful spending on luxury travel, personal security and, yes, office upgrades, to say nothing of his well-documented sweetheart rental from a lobbyist with business before EPA.”
Tonko also brought up reports of Pruitt’s retaliation against EPA employees who have questioned his abuses and expenditures, saying, “At the heart of all these issues is an apparent pattern of an administrator refusing accountability and putting personal and special interests ahead of the American people.”
Aside from his ethical and financial abuses, Pruitt has made the EPA an office that caters to big business instead of the people. For example, Pruitt gave giant refiner a hardship waiver from regulation.
When you read “regulation,” think about your loved ones breathing in poisonous air so big oil can make more money. THat’s what regulation is supposed to do – protect the people against the greed of a corporations fiduciary responsibility to make money at any cost.
Any business operating under capitalism ought to be responsible while making a profit, because they are supposed to be held in check by the response of the people. This is the argument Republicans make for not needing regulation. But you see, this backlash is apparently why Pruitt feels he can’t fly in coach with the little people; someone might speak to him about not being happy about their children being poisoned, and of course that person might not be pleased. So while they erode protection for the people and dip into the taxpayer funds on a whim, they are using your money to hide from you. And that is not okay.
Republicans used to hold believe in competition and holding businesses accountable. Those days are long gone as the current Republican party takes pride in drowning itself in Trump’s sewer swamp waters. The Trump corruption trickles down to such an extent that some Republicans are defending Pruitt.
Pruitt faces nearly a dozen pending investigations from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to the EPA inspector general and more.
Pruitt’s $43,000 secure soundproof booth was found to have violated the law. Or, as Republicans call it now, Pruitt is a “victim” of McCarthy-like politics for being held accountable to the law.
(Additional reporting By Valerie Volcovici and Richard Cowan)
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
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