Senate to Consider Measure to Halt Administration’s Cynical Waterways Regulation
‘It’s common-sense, bipartisan legislation that would protect our waterways while protecting the American people from a heavy-handed regulation that threatens their property rights and their livelihoods. A similar bill has already passed the House with bipartisan support.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding the Federal Water Quality Protection Act:
“Two federal courts have already found that the Obama Administration’s plan to regulate the land around nearly every pothole and ditch is likely illegal.
“It’s hardly a surprise.
“The Administration’s so-called ‘Waters of the U.S.’ regulation is a cynical and overbearing power grab dressed awkwardly as some clean-water measure.
“Many argue it actually violates the Clean Water Act.
“The true aim of this massive regulatory overreach is pretty clear.
“If you’re looking for an excuse to extend the reach of the federal bureaucracy as widely and intrusively as possible, why not just issue a regulation giving bureaucrats dominion over land that has touched a pothole, or a ditch, or a puddle at some point?
“That would seem to be pretty much everything. And that’s why the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ regulation is so worrying.
“It would force Americans who live near potholes, and ditches, and puddles to ask bureaucrats for permission to do just about anything on their own property.
“Want to spray some weeds?
“Fill out a permit.
“Want to put a small pond in your backyard?
“Ask Uncle Sam.
“Want to build a barn or just about anything else on the land you own?
“Good luck getting approval from the feds for that.
“One court said that this regulation was so ridiculous it had to be the result of ‘a process that is inexplicable, arbitrary, and devoid of a reasoned process.’
“That sounds about right. It certainly wasn’t a process that appropriately involved the untold number of stakeholders sure to be affected by such a wide-ranging regulation.
“Let me read you something I received from a constituent in West Liberty. Here’s what this Kentuckian wrote:
I`m disappointed [that] small businesses like mine were not considered in this rule making process. Government regulations, like the proposed rule, are complicated, expensive to navigate and a real obstacle to growing my business. This change, and its ridiculous overreach and restrictions, could decrease land value and hinder my ability to expand, develop and use my own private land.
“‘Please,’ he said, ‘support S.1140, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.’
“I have good news for this Kentuckian and for the many Americans who feel the same way.
“I do support the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.
“I actually worked with Senator Barrasso to introduce it.
“And we’ll take a vote to move the bipartisan bill forward this afternoon.
“A bipartisan majority of the Senate supports the Federal Water Quality Protection Act.
“What it says is pretty simple.
“If the Administration is actually serious about protecting waterways — and not just cynically using this regulation as a ploy to extend the bureaucracy’s reach — then it should follow the proper process to get to a balanced outcome.
“It should appropriately consult with the Americans who would be most affected by the regulation, especially farmers, ranchers, and small businesses — not to mention the homebuilders, manufacturers, mine operators, and utility providers who would be particularly impacted in Kentucky.
“It should appropriately consult with states.
“It should actually conduct the regulatory impact analyses required of it.
“In short, what this bipartisan bill would do is require the Administration to actually follow the balanced approach it should have followed in the first place.
“It’s common-sense, bipartisan legislation that would protect our waterways while protecting the American people from a heavy-handed regulation that threatens their property rights and their livelihoods. A similar bill has already passed the House with bipartisan support.
“Americans in places like Eastern Kentucky have suffered enough from this Administration’s regulatory onslaught already. This latest regulation threatens to turn the screws even tighter, for almost no benefit at all. I call on every colleague to join me in standing up for the Middle Class instead of defending cynical, job-crushing regulations.
“I ask them to join me in supporting the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act this afternoon.
“I would also like to thank my colleague from Iowa for her hard work on this issue. She has introduced a measure that would allow Congress to overturn this massive regulation in its entirety. It’s another avenue the Senate can pursue as we seek to protect the Middle Class from this unfair regulatory attack.”
Related Issues: Economy, Middle Class, WOTUS, EPA, Jobs, Regulations