Rep. Anna Eshoo from California interrogated EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Thursday about reports of his office’s profligacy, asking him if he has “any remorse.”

A day-long hearing in Congress that was supposed to focus on the EPA's budget turned into a proper roast of the agency's embattled chief. Based on party affiliation, representatives took turns chastising and cuddling Pruitt.


Democrats. From the Left the attacks were brutal, verging on the personal.

  • Remorse. ​"Do you have any remorse for the excessive on behalf of yourself?" Congresswomen Anna Eshoo pushed, but Pruitt avoided giving a yes or no answer. Instead, he explained that has recently implemented changes to redress wastefulness. (Switching, for instance, from first class to coach for international travels.) Annoyed at not getting an answer, Eshoo pressed on, "You're not going to out-talk me"

  • Embarrassment. "Your actions are an embarrassment to president Trump," said New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone. "If I were the president I would fire you."

  • Calendar. Carolina's Patrick McHenry took a shot at Pruitt's coziness with the energy world. "Since taking office you've met with oil industry executives and lobbyists, but not with environmentalists," said McHenry. "It seems that deep pockets are a prerequisite to get on your calendar."

Republicans. In contrast to their captious Democrat colleagues, Republicans were palliatory. 

Many of them commended Pruitt for effectively rolling back many Obama-era regulations that were considered overly punishing to the energy industry.

  • Ad hominem.  Texas Rep. Joe Barton: "You're not the first to be the victim of Washington Politics." He lamented more generally that whenever "we can't have an argument in Washington, we attack the person. Dems do it when there's a Rep president. Reps do it when there's a Dem president."

  • Grandstanders. "This is a classic case of McCarthyism," said West Virginia Rep. David McKinley. "Some can't resist the opportunity to grandstand."