U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, long a critic of Scott Pruitt, welcomed his resignation Thursday as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency for the past 16 months.
Bonamici is the top Democrat on the environment subcommittee of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. She criticized Pruitt just as much for his policy stands as for his spending abuses — he faced 13 separate investigations — and his cozying up to lobbyists with an interest in EPA decisions.
"I take my responsibility seriously to protect the environment and address the effects of climate change," Bonamici said in a statement. "I will continue to fight back against regulations Pruitt initiated to roll back the Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Rule, and Clean Air Act."
Bonamici, who is from Beaverton, has represented the 1st District of northwest Oregon since 2012.
The rest of her statement:
"Scott Pruitt's resignation was overdue. During his tenure at the Environmental Protection Agency, he repeatedly put the nation at risk by directing the agency to act counter to its mission of protecting public health and the environment. He censored research on climate change, misused limited EPA resources, and jeopardized the agency's ability to obtain independent scientific advice. The reports of his engagement in potential anti-lobbying violations, his demonstrated conflicts of interest, and his use of taxpayer dollars to fund extravagant travel and security measures are unethical and a disgrace…
"The EPA administrator should be strengthening laws to protect the health and safety of our communities. I'm calling on President Trump to nominate someone who will defend clean air, water, and the planet we all need to live healthy, productive lives."
Although the House has no constitutional role in presidential nominations — it is the Senate that confirms or denies them — Bonamici had expressed doubts early about Pruitt, who as attorney general of Oklahoma sued EPA 14 times before President Donald Trump named him to lead the agency.
She also joined as cosponsor of a no-confidence resolution against Pruitt and urged Trump to seek his resignation.
NOTE: Corrects length of Pruitt's tenure at EPA.