President Obama’s advisors would recommend that he veto a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from expanding jurisdiction over waterways. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5078, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, 262-152 on Tuesday.
Agriculture groups across the country have railed against the proposed Waters of the United States rule, which would define what streams and other waterways must meet requirements of the Clean Water Act. Rep. Steve Southerland (R-FL) introduced legislation this summer that would stop EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the rule.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) praised the passage.
“I am pleased the House approved this bipartisan, commonsense bill to block the EPA from expanding its control of our nation’s land and water resources,” Lucas said in a prepared statement. “Whether it’s trying to regulate farm dust out of existence, milk as oil, or now treat ditches like major water tributaries, the EPA has demonstrated a hunger for power and a lack of understanding of how its actions impact America’s farmers and ranchers. The agency’s latest action would trigger an onslaught of additional permitting and regulatory requirements for our agricultural producers to protect not our great natural resources, but rather our backyard ponds.”
He urged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to bring H.R. 5078 to the floor, though the White House said in a statement that the administration “strongly opposes” H.R. 5078.