Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) said Sunday that, based “on policy grounds alone,” Scott Pruitt should never have been administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Pruitt has faced scandal after scandal in recent weeks, including over the $50-a-night townhouse lease he signed with a prominent lobbyist couple and the two top aides of his who were given raises using a loophole in a law typically used to hire environmental experts.
President Donald Trump has supported Pruitt publicly, and Pruitt reportedly met with Trump on Friday in a bid to keep his job.
In an interview with Collins, CNN’s Jake Tapper noted that she had been the lone Republican senator to vote against Pruitt’s confirmation and asked if she thought Pruitt should lose his job.
“First of all, let me say that the actions taken by Scott Pruitt in the environmental arena, whether it’s trying to undermine the Clean Power Plan, or weaken the restrictions on lead, or undermine the methane rules, are reasons enough to validate my decision to oppose his confirmation,” Collins replied.
Collins said the “daily drip” of accusations against Pruitt had distracted the EPA from its mission, and that Congress should “do some oversight,” including on the recommendations made by Pruitt’s incredibly expensive security detail.
“But on policy grounds alone I think Scott Pruitt is the wrong person to head the EPA,” Collins said.
“Should he resign or be fired?” Tapper asked.
“Well, that is a position that only the President can take at this point,” Collins said. “The Congress has no role now that he has been confirmed. I voted against confirming him but I believe that my position was the correct one and has been validated by his actions.”
So far, three House Republicans have called on Pruitt to resign.