Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the Senate panel overseeing EPA’s budget, said there are “legitimate questions that need to be answered” about the ethics scandals plaguing Administrator Scott Pruitt.
“Unfortunately, I am concerned that many of the important policy efforts that you are engaged in are being overshadowed because of a series of issues related to you and your management of the agency,” Murkowski said at the opening of a Senate Appropriations Interior-EPA subcommittee hearing.
Murkowski lauded Pruitt’s work to repeal the Waters of the U.S. rule and Clean Power plan, but said instead she is being asked, “really constantly” about Pruitt’s sweetheart condo rental deal from a lobbyist, 24/7 security and frequent first class travel.
Sen. Tom Udall, the panel's ranking member, excoriated Pruitt.
“It needs to be said that your tenure at the EPA is a betrayal of the American people,” he said, criticizing not just the ethics scandals, but also his regulatory rollbacks.
“This isn’t cooperative federalism, it’s flat-out abandonment,” he said.