WASHINGTON ― Reps. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla. ) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla. ) called for Scott Pruitt’ s resignation Tuesday, becoming the very first Republicans to demand the embattled Environmental Protection Agency administrator step down amid growing dispute over his investing and ties to lobbyists.
In a tweet, Curbelo mentioned Pruitt’ s “ corruption scams are an embarrassment, ” and advised President Donald Trump to fire the particular nation’ s top environmental limiter if he does not quit.
Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring from Our elected representatives this year, echoed Curbelo.
“ When scandals and distractions surpass a public servant’ s capability to function effectively, another person should fill up that role, ” the congresswoman said in a statement provided in order to HuffPost.
Curbelo is one of the most susceptible House Republicans running for re-election this cycle ― former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton earned his majority-Latino district by sixteen points in the 2016 election ― and he has said he’ d accepted Trump’ s help ahead of the 2018 midterms. Curbelo is up simply five points over likely Democratic challenger Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, according to a survey the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released this week.
Curbelo, broadly considered one of the GOP’ s couple of hawkish voices on climate modify, has been critical of Pruitt. Within March 2017, he called Pruitt’ s denial of carbon emissions’ impact on climate change “ reckless , ” and urged the administrator to “ come to South Lakewood ranch to see ” firsthand the consequence of sea-level rise.
Curbelo’ s comments about Pruitt, one day after the EPA unveiled the particular administration’ s plan to roll back Obama-era automobile emissions rules, demonstrates how rapidly the latest accusations of corruption contrary to the administrator have spun out of control.
Pruitt’ s housing within Washington came under scrutiny last week right after FONEM News documented that he rented a room in a luxurious condominium co-owned by the wife of the top gas industry lobbyist. Pruitt paid $50 per night , a sweetheart deal well beneath the market rate for an upscale Capitol Hill townhouse. The EPA’ s i9000 Office of General Counsel rapidly issued a memo endorsing the speed, but the agency’ s ethics attorney fought to defend Pruitt’ s adult daughter’ s usage of another room at the residence.
Curbelo did not return the request for an interview on Tuesday mid-day.
Asked to comment on Curbelo’ ersus remarks about Pruitt, EPA speaker Jahan Wilcox sent a declaration defending the administrator’ s leasing.
“ As ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY career ethics officials stated in the memo, Administrator Pruitt’ s casing arrangement for both himself plus family was not a gift and the rent was consistent with federal ethics rules, ” the statement said.
The controversy comes after months associated with criticism over Pruitt’ s investing in first-class flights and luxury hotels, which includes $2, 600 airfare to Ok, a $120, 000 trip to Italia and a $40, 000 visit to The other agents to promote liquefied natural gas, a doubtful responsibility for an EPA administrator to consider.
Couple of other Republicans have publicly known as on Pruitt to step lower. A spokesperson for Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla. ), who furthermore represents a district in southern Fl, did not immediately return a request comment.
However , former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who outlasted the “ Bridgegate” scandal that will thwarted his presidential ambitions, upon Sunday said he was worried about the ethics of Pruitt’ s i9000 rental.
“ I don’ t know how a person survive this one, and if he has to visit, it’ s because he never must have been there in the first place, ” Christie said on ABC News’ “ This Week. ”
Trump reportedly phoned Pruitt on Mon evening and told him in order to “ maintain your head up ” and “ keep fighting. ” In a meeting with leaders of Baltic nations at the White House upon Tuesday, Trump said, “ I really hope he’ s going to be excellent. ”
Democrats, meanwhile, are usually calling on Pruitt to resign “ immediately. ”
“ It really is long past time for Scott Pruitt’ s tenure to end. From cozying up to industry insiders, to throwing away taxpayer dollars and breaking honest norms, Americans cannot trust Pruitt and he should resign immediately, ” the Democratic National Committee stated in a statement.
The United states senate confirmed Pruitt last year by a election of 52-46 . Sens. Joe Manchin associated with West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, two susceptible Democrats who are up for re-election this season in states Trump won within 2016, joined nearly every Republican within voting to approve Pruitt’ s i9000 nomination.
Neither Manchin’ s spokesperson nor Heitkamp’ s spokesperson instantly responded to a request for comment regarding whether the senators thought Pruitt ought to step down.
This article continues to be updated with comment from the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY and Ros-Lehtinen.