Florida congressman Carlos Curbelo is the first Republican to join calls for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to resign or be fired by President Donald Trump.
The news comes as the scandals surrounding Pruitt continue to multiply. In the last 24 hours alone, more information has come to light about a Capitol Hill apartment he rented for just $50 a night, including revelations that it was used for GOP fundraisers and is linked to an energy lobbyist whose firm represented a company that received EPA sign-off on a pipeline project. What’s more, Pruitt reportedly went around the White House to give a significant pay raise to an aide, who served as a point-person for Pruitt’s housing hunt, post-Capitol Hill condo.
Curbelo, who represents a Miami-to-Key West district, has been a vocal opponent of Trump’s anti-environmental agenda. He is also the co-founder of the Climate Solutions Caucus, which works to raise bipartisan support for climate action.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Curbelo called Pruitt’s corruption scandals an “embarrassment to the Administration.”
“His conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers. It’s time for him to resign or for @POTUS to dismiss him,” he said.
Major policy differences aside, @EPAScottPruitt‘s corruption scandals are an embarrassment to the Administration, and his conduct is grossly disrespectful to American taxpayers. It's time for him to resign or for @POTUS to dismiss him. https://t.co/gXWLDffqam
— Rep. Carlos Curbelo (@RepCurbelo) April 3, 2018
Curbelo joins 20 other members of congress currently calling for Pruitt to resign or be fired. Environmental groups have also recently launched a “Boot Pruitt” campaign.
Since coming to the EPA in February of 2017, Pruitt has made headlines for expensive first-class travel, secretive private phone booths, and a close relationship with the industries he is charged with regulating.
Tuesday morning, however, multiple outlets reported that both Trump and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had been in touch with Pruitt to reiterate their support for him.
UPDATE: A second Florida Republican lawmaker joined Curbelo’s call for Pruitt to resign on Tuesday afternoon. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who is retiring at the end of this Congress, said in a statement, “I agree with my colleague, Carlos, that the EPA administrator should resign.”
She continued: “When scandals and distractions overtake a public servant’s ability to function effectively, another person should fill that role.”