Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) said Democrats view the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as their “pet project” to “dictate and direct egregious actions against the American people” during a Friday interview on SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight with host Rebecca Mansour and guest host Frances Martel.
Mansour asked Gosar if a dominant “progressive” culture within bureaucracies such as the EPA is a driver of criticism against Pruitt in political and news media circles.
Gosar said Democrats are politically territorial over the EPA: “They’re attacking him because this was their agency to dictate and direct egregious actions against the American people.” He also said, “This one’s the last pet project that they had total control over, in which they directed and did everything that had no scientific basis.”
Gosar praised Pruitt as one of the Trump administration’s best cabinet officials. He said, “Scott Pruitt has been probably the best — if not one of the best — people within the cabinet. His jurisdiction and the way that he’s taken on the job has been incredible.”
Gosar listed what he described as Pruitt’s achievements, thus far. He said, “For example, he’s finalized 22 deregulatory items saving the constituents and the taxpayers a billion dollars in the year. He put an end to sue-and-settle, an egregious action in which environmental groups and special interest groups would sue the government and then settle without going to court. He’s done tons of great things in regards to reeling back the EPA to a jurisdiction where it should be.”
Gosar noted how the Obama administration’s EPA administrators were not scrutinized by Pruitt’s current critics. He remarked, “It’s sad the see the Hounds of Baskerville attacking him for what they say are indiscretions. Let’s point some things out. They talk about his expenses. Let’s look at exactly what was happening before him. When you look at Lisa Jackson, she racked up over $350,000 in several trips between 2009 and 2013 in overseas trips, and Gina McCarthy, over $630,000 in flights on her ten international trips. Where was the cause for aspects of disdain there?”
Gosar recalled several incidents across the Obama administration as illustrative of Pruitt’s predecessors’ mismanagement of the EPA. He stated, “[Look at] the Flint water crisis that you saw with the EPA administrator Gina McCarthy. Look at what she did in the Gold King mine spill. It’s unbelievable. Even reaching with WOTUS [Waters of the United States rule] when there were over four different parts of Supreme Court rulings that defied them from even going into that application. It gets worse and worse and worse. You see text-gate where you saw Gina McCarthy using texts to do her business, and then deleted them – violating all aspects of federal record-keeping laws.”
Gosar continued, “Can we ever forget Richard Windsor? The alias of Lisa Jackson, and that’s how she exclusively corresponded with people. This is a sad day, when you see somebody doing their job appropriately and the attacks are just blatant.”
Gosar added, “It’s amazing what transpired. Another one impersonated a CIA agent, stealing over $900,000 under the watch of Gina McCarthy, and she allowed him to voluntarily retire and take a pension from the American people. It just keeps getting worse, where you start dwelling into the egregious actions of the previous administrators.”
Gosar also highlighted the payment of a $55,000 resignation package to an EPA employee convicted of child molestation as illustrative of McCarthy’s poor management of the agency.
The Daily Caller wrote:
The child molester – a registered sex offender for “indecent acts with a minor” – was fired in January, 2014, for violating his probation, but the Merit Systems Protection Board reinstated him, according to EPA inspector general records. The employee was ultimately paid $55,000 to resign in January, 2015, as part of a settlement.
Martel asked Gosar if left wing critics of Pruitt are testing conservatives’ resolve to retain President Donald Trump’s cabinet officials. She asked, “To what extent do you think this is bigger than Pruitt? In the sense that there seems to be an effort by the left to test how far conservatives are going to go to defend Trump’s appointments in the cabinet. Now we’re going to see Ambassador John Bolton coming in [and] Mike Pompeo take over [the State Department]. Those are going to be harder pillars or dominoes to make fall. How much is this that they hate Pruitt versus how much is this is them testing how far they can go to take these cabinet members down?”
Gosar answered, “We have stalled on the number of confirmations being done in the Senate, and we don’t have Republican leadership that’s actually mandating that the Senate stay in session until they get these things done. So when you take out somebody that is [confirmed], what you do is you slow down the whole agency with regards to what’s transpiring. All these agencies have skeletal crews. They’re hardly filled with their complement of people. That’s been one of the big guises of the left. Every president deserves the people that they want, as long as they’re qualified.”
Mansour concurred with Martel, saying, “They’re testing the waters here to see if they can get rid of this guy who’s clearly not on board with their agenda.”
Gosar called on Senate Republicans to move faster in confirming Trump’s executive appointments. He stated, “The Senate needs to be put into action, and that means that our Republican leadership in the Senate should require all senators to stay 24/7. Bring out the beds, the IVs, and the doctors until they get their full complement of people into these agencies.”
Gosar described the sue-and-settle practice of the EPA during Obama’s tenure as a circular mechanism through which taxpayer dollars are funneled to “environmental” groups, who then use the funds to continually sue the federal government. He explained, “When you start investigating the application of sue-and-settle, where we weren’t even entitled to congressional oversight to know what those jurisdictions were, so what ended up happening is an environmental group would sue on behalf, what would end up happening is the EPA, the Interior, and the Justice Department would enter into a decree and basically there were sums of money that were actually allocated, many times a lot higher than the average that should be awarded by lawyers’ fees, into these aspects, so these sums of money were going to these environmental groups to actively sue the American people on their special interests. It’s audacious. … This is totally defrauding the American public.”
Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.