Waters of the United States (WOTUS) might cease after the House of Representatives passed a resolution yesterday, but President Obama still has the power to veto the measure.
The House passed a joint resolution objecting to the WOTUS rule under a Congressional Review Act. If the resolution makes its way across the president’s desk without a veto it would invalidate the rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act.
“Passage of this resolution is a critical step toward stopping what some believe to be the largest federal land grab in history. From the beginning, the process of developing this rule was flawed by EPA ignoring input from stakeholders, and even other agencies including the Army Corps of Engineers. American’s farmers and ranchers deserve to have a government that will review and consider their thoughts,” says K. Michael Conaway, Chairman for the House Committee on Agriculture.
In all likelihood the disapproval resolution will be vetoed by President Obama, so WOTUS could be here to stay.
Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst authored the resolution that was passed by the Senate in November and just made its way through the House. “President Obama must now decide between an unchecked agency or the livelihoods of those in our rural communities who say this rule must be stopped,” Ernst says. Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA) President Pete Bonds was pleased to see House leadership work towards ridding the country of a flawed rule. He believes WOTUS threatens the private property rights of landowners.
“Delivering this resolution to the president’s desk sends a clear message that we are fed up with government regulations like WOTUS,” Bonds says. “TSCRA encourages the president to sign this resolution and will continue fighting against government regulations that take away the private property rights our country was built on.” During his annual address at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Convention outgoing AFBF President Bob Stallman gave his thoughts on government overreach. “Generations of farmers and ranchers have survived bad markets and bad weather,” Stallman says. “Bad government should not be the straw that breaks us.”
Stallman believes WOTUS has been one of the worst cases of over regulation to happen. “When rain water running across a farm field is all it takes to allow federal agencies to tell you that you cannot use your land, that is government regulation run amok,” Stallman adds.
By: Wyatt Bechtel