Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt will begin a long-awaited series of appearances in Congress soon after the Thanksgiving recess, congressional committees announced Thursday.
Lawmakers and others in recent weeks have criticized Pruitt's lack of appearances on Capitol Hill since his Senate confirmation.
Pruitt will make his first appearance Dec. 7 in the House Energy and Commerce Committee during an environmental subcommittee hearing headed by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and full committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore.
“We’re looking forward to receiving a much-needed update from Mr. Pruitt on his priorities for the agency, including his stated policy of getting EPA 'back to the basics' and its impact on the agency’s activity going forward,” Walden and Shimkus said in a joint statement.
“Following EPA’s controversial and expansive interpretation of its authorities during the past administration, it is past time for EPA to refocus on pursuing its important public health and environmental missions as Congress originally intended,” the statement read.
Pruitt won't make an appearance before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee until well after the New Year on Jan. 31.
“It will give senators the chance to hear about the important work being done at the agency to protect America’s air, land, and water,” said committee Chairman John Barrasso, R-Wy., on Thursday. “It is important that EPA Administrator Pruitt testifies before the committee.”
Pruitt faced a contentious confirmation in the Senate environment committee, where he faced the largest number of questions by Democrats in the history of the agency. Democrats attempted to shut down the committee vote by boycotting it, forcing Barrasso to suspend Senate rules to hold a vote without a quorum, which requires the presence of at least one Democrat.