January 17, 2016
The House of Representatives voted in favor (253-166) of a disapproval resolution (S.J. Res. 22) to end the Waters of the U.S. rule proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp of Engineers.
The rule would expand federal jurisdiction over certain streams, ponds, wetlands and ditches regulated under the Clean Water Act. Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX), chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, says, “This rule and the process in which EPA developed it ignored stakeholders, ignored states, and as reports have shown, even ignored concerns from the Army Corps of Engineers, the federal agency that was supposed to be co-developing the rule.”
The Senate passed the resolution (53-44) last December. There are not enough votes in the House or Senate to override President Obama’s expected veto. So the fight over WOTUS will continue in the federal courts. Last year a federal court suspended nationwide implementation of the rule as legal challenges from states and agriculture continue to work their way through the courts.
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