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senate Bill S. 3312

Should EPA Rulemaking be Suspended Until Scott Pruitt is Fully Investigated?

Argument in favor

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s abuses of his office were numerous and egregious. By tying EPA rulemaking to the conclusion of the EPA IG’s investigations, this bill ensures that the pressure stays on for the EPA IG to continue its investigations into Pruitt’s misconduct.

Chickie's Opinion
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08/21/2018
DEFINITELY! Pruitt has decimated the EPA with turning back the clock to before the mid-1970’s when the EPA was created. In all the years since then, the EPA had programs in place that have minimized car pollution, that controlled manufacturing companies with responsible hazardous material disposal, that gave our wildlife the protection they needed, etc. In a few short months Pruitt, in line with #45’s favoritism to corporations and manufacturing companies, has removed restrictions and programs enabling the growth of pollution, contaminating water by creating an increase of toxic levels and placing wildlife at risk. Pruitt and his second-in-command, now current EPA Director, Wheeler, have a lot to answer for including repayment of wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.
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Joseph's Opinion
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08/21/2018
Corruption is at an all time high in our government. We are being run by corporations though kickbacks to politicians and policy advisors. EPA is to protect the environment, the consumer protection bureau is to protect consumers. Positions in our government are being bought and sold by the corrupt.
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Mark's Opinion
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08/21/2018
The SWAMP DWELLERS that #45 give jobs too ALL NEED TO BE ARRESTED AND PUT IN JAIL for their treasonous actions toward OUR COUNTRY
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Argument opposed

None of the cases against Pruitt involve his policymaking while in office, and therefore it is unnecessary to hold up EPA’s rulemaking while the EPA IG continues its investigations. The policies he put in place should remain in effect despite the ethics investations into his conduct.

ConservativeGuy's Opinion
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08/21/2018
You can’t change political protocol simply because your side lost. Did we set aside all of AG Holder’s programs when he opted not to cooperate in the investigation into the Fast and Furious program?
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Mark's Opinion
···
08/21/2018
Was Mr. Pruitt the only person working at the EPA? So anything and everything must halt? More BS “resist” obstructionism from the so called Democrats. Keep it up. It strengthens our resolve for the mid terms. MAGA.
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Santiago's Opinion
···
08/21/2018
None of the cases against Pruitt involve his policymaking while in office, and therefore it is unnecessary to hold up EPA’s rulemaking while the EPA IG continues its investigations. The policies he put in place should remain in effect despite the ethics investations into his conduct.
Like (14)
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
    IntroducedJuly 31st, 2018

What is Senate Bill S. 3312?

This bill — known as the Ensuring Pruitt is Accountable (EPA) Act of 2018 — would suspend proposed rulemaking signed by former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt. The bill would require the EPA’s Inspector General to continue its investigations into former Administrator Pruitt’s conduct, and suspect and proposed rulemaking he signed until after the results of the EPA IG’s investigations are made public.

Impact

The Environmental Protection Agency; its Inspector General; and Scott Pruitt.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3312

A CBO cost estimate for this bill is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) introduced this bill to ensure that the EPA holds its former administrator responsible for abuses of his office:

“Scott Pruitt brought unprecedented corruption and industry influence to the EPA. His actions cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged, and at the very least, these destructive moves must be put on hold until the numerous investigations into Pruitt’s activities have concluded. It’s time to restore an EPA that actually acts to protect our clean air and clean water rather than protecting the profits of powerful polluters.”

One potential rationale for tying EPA rulemaking to the finalization of the EPA IG’s investigations is to put pressure on the IG. Back in May 2, 2018, responding to a letter to Sen. Merkley and Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE)’s request that the EPA IG look into Pruitt’s use of multiple email accounts, the IG noted that its lack of funding and large workload would make its investigation into that matter slow:

“We have to determine whether we have sufficient resources-people, time and funds-to do a project in a timely fashion and whether it would preclude our doing other crucial work. The fact is that the OIG has been funded at less than the levels we deem adequate to do all of the work that should be done, and we therefore have to make difficult decisions about whether to accept any given potential undertaking.”

It is worth noting that none of the cases against Pruitt involve his policy decisions, which largely aim to halt or reverse many EPA programs. Eric Wang, who practices election and government ethics law for the firm Wiley Rein, says the Pruitt case is a display of Washington power politics, and doesn’t signal a breakdown in government ethics:

“I think the state of the ethics laws in our country is strong, and I think Scott Pruitt's resignation and the controversy surrounding the allegations against him demonstrate that.”

Wang argued that Democrats initially tried to oust Pruitt based solely on his policy agency, which the White House and Republican lawmakers strongly supported, but which Democrats opposed. It was only after Democrats’ efforts in that arena failed, he argued, that they “looked to these other issues, these personal issues, these ethics issues, to really force Republicans to put pressure on him to step down.

There are two cosponsors of this bill, both of whom are Democrats.


Of NoteThere are at least ten IG investigations into Pruitt, covering his travel, use of taxpayer dollars to decorate his office, unprecedented security detail, and use of multiple email accounts.

Pruitt resigned as the administration of the EPA on July 5th under the weight of at least 13 investigations into grifting and abuses of power. In less than 18 months in office, Pruitt was alleged to have spent:

  • Over $3 million on a 24-hour security detail three times the size of his predecessor’s;

  • $43,000 on a soundproof phone booth for his office that was subsequently found to be illegal;

  • $5,700 on biometric locks; and

  • Over $100,000 on first-class flights, on the basis that his security would be compromised in economy.

He was also found to have stayed, at a far below-market-rate cost of only $50 a night, in a Capitol Hill townhouse owned by the wife of an energy industry lobbyist. Early on in his tenure, Pruitt also reportedly requested that his motorcade use flashing lights and police sirens to speed trips through Washington-area traffic when he was late for official meetings, rushing to the airport for a flight, and, in at least one instance, late to dinner at a trendy French restaurant.

Pruitt was also accused of misusing his staffers’ time, reportedly instructing an aide to contact Republican donors and businesses to find six-figure employment for his wife, Marlyn. In one instance, he had his scheduler reach out to the head of Chick-fil-A to explore the possibility of his wife operating one of their franchises. Pruitt also had aides: find a new apartment for him, call the Trump hotel to inquire about purchasing a used mattress, buy him fancy snack food, arrange a family vacation to California, pick up his dry cleaning, and search for a particular brand of lotion available only in select Ritz-Carlton hotels. When staffers challenged Pruitt about EPA’s spending and management, he reassigned or demoted them — resulting in at least five officials’ demotions or reassignments.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / NoDerog)

AKA

Ensuring Scott Pruitt is Accountable Act of 2018

Official Title

A bill to suspend proposed rulemaking signed by former Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt, and for other purposes.

    DEFINITELY! Pruitt has decimated the EPA with turning back the clock to before the mid-1970’s when the EPA was created. In all the years since then, the EPA had programs in place that have minimized car pollution, that controlled manufacturing companies with responsible hazardous material disposal, that gave our wildlife the protection they needed, etc. In a few short months Pruitt, in line with #45’s favoritism to corporations and manufacturing companies, has removed restrictions and programs enabling the growth of pollution, contaminating water by creating an increase of toxic levels and placing wildlife at risk. Pruitt and his second-in-command, now current EPA Director, Wheeler, have a lot to answer for including repayment of wasteful use of taxpayer dollars.
    Like (132)
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    Share
    You can’t change political protocol simply because your side lost. Did we set aside all of AG Holder’s programs when he opted not to cooperate in the investigation into the Fast and Furious program?
    Like (28)
    Follow
    Share
    Corruption is at an all time high in our government. We are being run by corporations though kickbacks to politicians and policy advisors. EPA is to protect the environment, the consumer protection bureau is to protect consumers. Positions in our government are being bought and sold by the corrupt.
    Like (71)
    Follow
    Share
    The SWAMP DWELLERS that #45 give jobs too ALL NEED TO BE ARRESTED AND PUT IN JAIL for their treasonous actions toward OUR COUNTRY
    Like (60)
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    Share
    Absolutely! Any rules that this corrupt low-life made while EPA administrator should be suspended until all corruption allegations made against him have been thoroughly investigated. A man who uses his government position to enrich himself should not be making any rules or regulations or repealing any past rules or regulations.
    Like (41)
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    Yes! And, ALL rules and appointments and laws instituted since 45’s Russia/assisted regime started need to be put on hold until the FREE and FAIR MUELLER INVESTIGATION is done. All those actions were probably taken by a FAKE PRESIDENT and should be considered illegal and void.
    Like (36)
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    Another stain on the worst administration ever.
    Like (27)
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    He needs to be held accountable for the money and the damage he has done. Everything needs to be looked at
    Like (20)
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    Absolutely! He went in there to destroy the EPA. Don’t let that happen!
    Like (19)
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    The EPA’s recent actions have been shameful and have been in the complete opposite direction of what all scientific research says we need to be heading in. The threats to our environment need to be taken serious.
    Like (15)
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    Absolutely! Pruitt is owned by polluting industries. Save our country.
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    Please support this proposal. It makes a great deal of sense to wait until Scott Pruitt is fully investigated before implementing anything he proposed.. Thank you!
    Like (15)
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    None of the cases against Pruitt involve his policymaking while in office, and therefore it is unnecessary to hold up EPA’s rulemaking while the EPA IG continues its investigations. The policies he put in place should remain in effect despite the ethics investations into his conduct.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Was Mr. Pruitt the only person working at the EPA? So anything and everything must halt? More BS “resist” obstructionism from the so called Democrats. Keep it up. It strengthens our resolve for the mid terms. MAGA.
    Like (14)
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    The entire administration needs to be shut down until investigations are complete, but this is a start.
    Like (13)
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    A pause makes total sense. Let the IG report speak first.
    Like (13)
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    Unfortunately given his dubious and often conflicted record as head of the EPA it is necessary to investigate his term in office. This is why the Senate had no business approving such a poor cabinet member for this role in the first place. It’s time the Senate took responsibility for the malfeasance of this individual while in office.
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    It’s VERY important to call your senators EVERY DAY!!! Please.
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    Absolutely. From day 1, Pruitt was put in charge of instilling policies that are the exact opposite to what EPA's lawful mandate should be-- protection of our environment, air, and water. A total sell-off to the oil and other polluting businesses.
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    If this guy is found of wrongdoing then we will have to objectively look at what he has done while in this position.
    Like (11)
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