Republican Representative David McKinley of West Virginia lectured Democrats about “civility” and called the Congressional hearing into EPA Chief Scott Pruitt’s spending ethics a “classic display of innuendo and McCarthyism” during a House hearing.
Republican Joe Barton of Texas piped up with more support, claiming Pruitt was a victim.
“You are not the first person to be the victim of … Washington politics.”
Some Republicans think it’s McCarthyism, apparently, to hold a public official accountable when there are nearly a dozen pending investigations into Pruitt’s ethical and financial abuses.
For example, the GAO said the law was violated by installing a $43,000 secure soundproof booth in Pruitt’s office without notifying lawmakers first. Pruitt has also been called out for first-class air travel and security expenses, his rental of a room in a Washington townhouse linked to an energy industry lobbyist, and more.
Not all Republicans agree, however. “I don’t care how sound your policies are, you just can’t treat the taxpayers in this country the way he apparently has,” Republican Senator John Kennedy told Reuters.
“I would be embarrassed to fly first-class like that. And I understand he’s in a job, that he’s made enemies, but 20 body men is a bit much,” Kennedy said.
Not being able to spend the taxpayers’ money on his own whims and travel upgrades makes Pruitt a “victim” to some Republicans. This is the opposite of draining the swamp.
(Additional reporting By Valerie Volcovici and Richard Cowan)
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
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.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.