The Washington Post has a big piece out today on EPA Director Scott Pruitt on how he spent “$1560 on 12 customized fountain pens.”
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) June 1, 2018
This comes out to $130 per pen and outrage ensued:
— CAP Action (@CAPAction) June 2, 2018
What "Drain the Swamp" means in the Trump White House…https://t.co/90WiLzWhj1
— David Cobb (@DavidKCobb) June 2, 2018
— Senator Tom Carper (@SenatorCarper) June 1, 2018
Awkward: a day after claiming he is looking out for taxpayers, Scott Pruitt is caught spending over $1500 on 12 pens.
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) June 1, 2018
So, how does this compare to ceremonial pens of the last administration?
President Obama, it was widely reported, used a Cross Townsend rollerball pen to sign bills:
Mr No: With a Cross Townsend black roller-ball pen, Obama starts a new chapter (The Veto Years). http://t.co/rgBJrm5jpY
— Tara McKelvey (@Tara_Mckelvey) February 24, 2015
The Cross Townsend has a retail price of $185 on the Cross website, which makes Obama’s pen $55 more expensive than Scott Pruitt’s pen.
We have no idea how many pens Barack Obama used in his entire 8 years in office, but he did use 22 pens just to sign Obamacare:
it was 22 pens https://t.co/ekRSxafkOJ
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 28, 2017
Despite the outrage directed at Pruitt, the pens had a legitimate use. From the Washington Post:
EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox defended the purchases, saying in a statement Friday morning that they “were made for the purpose of serving as gifts to the Administrator’s foreign counterparts and dignitaries upon his meeting with them. This adheres to the same protocol of former EPA Administrators and were purchased using funds budgeted for such a purpose.”
You know, just like every administration in modern history.