Pruitt is The Leader We Need at the EPA
‘He’s exceptionally qualified. He’s dedicated to environmental protection. And, as someone with state government experience, he understands the real-world consequences of EPA actions and knows that balance is the key to making policies that are sustainable over the long-term.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding the president’s nominee for EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt:
“In just a few minutes we’ll have the opportunity to confirm the nominee for the Office of Management and Budget. I had several things to say about him yesterday. Now I’d like to talk about the nominee we can advance after that confirmation vote.
“Let me start by saying this. We all want clean water. We all want clean air. Promoting these goals is supposed to be the mission of the Environmental Protection Agency, but under the Obama Administration the agency’s leadership prioritized partisan politics instead. It pursued policies that often put political benefits ahead of environmental ones. It ignored laws. It acted beyond its authority. It even treated middle-class coal families as enemies, and then attacked them without a real sense of compassion.
“The nominee before us, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, thinks it’s time for the EPA to get back to the clean air and clean water business instead, and to do so with an appreciation for the complexity of our modern world — with awareness of the broader economy, with compassion towards those impacted, with respect for the rule of law and the rights of state and local governments.
“Pruitt has earned the support of countless groups across the country, from state environmental protection officers to agriculture leaders. He’s got the bipartisan backing of dozens of his fellow attorneys general too. They say he’s someone who’s ‘committed to clean air and clean water,’ one who’s apt to ‘come to Congress for a solution, rather than inventing power’ for himself. What a welcome change from the previous administration.
“This is from a predecessor of Pruitt’s in the Attorney General’s office, Democrat Mike Turpen: ‘As a Democrat, I take seriously the threats to our environment,’ Turpen said, ‘I may not agree with all of the President-elect’s policies or nominees, but I do know that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is a good choice to head up the Environmental Protection Agency.’
“‘Scott Pruitt’s background in constitutional law,’ he continued, ‘combined with a nuanced understanding of how environmental regulations affect the economy, mean that he will be a thoughtful leader of the EPA, and one capable of striking the balance between protecting the environment and our economy…’
“Here’s another Democratic Attorney General: ‘I am a member of the Democratic National Committee and was a strong supporter of Secretary’s Clinton’s campaign for President,’ this Democrat said, ‘I [also] believe in the core mission of the Environmental Protection Agency...’
“And the nominee before us is known to him as ‘a staunch defender of sound science and good policy as appropriate tools to protect the environment of his state.’ As one Democratic Senator put it, Scott Pruitt has simply got ‘the right experience for the position.’
“He’s exceptionally qualified. He’s dedicated to environmental protection. And, as someone with state government experience, he understands the real-world consequences of EPA actions and knows that balance is the key to making policies that are sustainable over the long-term.
“Pruitt is just the candidate we need at the helm of the EPA. We should confirm him. Doing so will represent another positive change in Washington that can give hope to families in Kentucky and across the nation who are still recovering from the last eight years.
“Here’s something else that will give cheer to Kentucky families. I’m pleased to report that today the President will sign a resolution identical to a proposal I introduced, a resolution that will undo a harmful regulation that could threaten nearly a third of America’s coal mining jobs.
“I’m looking forward to attending that signing ceremony later today. This resolution is just one of several that we hope to send to the President to begin providing the American people with relief, protect jobs, and grow our economy. It reflects promises made and promises kept.”
Related Issues: Nominations, EPA