Senate Will Vote Today on Bill to Overturn Administration’s Indefensible Waterways Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor regarding Senator Ernst’s resolution of disapproval on the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule:

“The Administration’s so-called ‘Waters of the U.S.’ regulation would grant federal bureaucrats dominion over nearly every piece of land that has ever touched a pothole, ditch, or puddle at some point. It would force the Americans who live there to ask federal bureaucrats for permission to do just about anything with their own property.

“We’re not talking about just a few acres falling under bureaucratic control here and there. According to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau, we’re talking about centralized federal control extending to nearly 92 percent of Wisconsin, 95 percent of California, 98 percent of New York, 99 percent of Pennsylvania and — if you can believe this — 100 percent of Virginia.

“This isn’t some clean-water regulation, it’s an unprecedented federal power grab that clumsily — and poorly — pretends to masquerade as one.

“It’s obvious why Waters of the U.S. would be a left-winger’s dream.

“It’s equally obvious why Democratic leaders would want to pretend this rule is about clean water, rather than admit what it’s really about.

“Because the true purpose and scope of this regulation is basically indefensible.

“Thirty-one states have already filed suit against it.

“Two federal courts have already ruled that it is likely illegal.

“And one court found that the rule was so flawed that it had to be the result of ‘a process that is inexplicable, arbitrary, and devoid of a reasoned process.’

“That’s why we considered the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act yesterday.

“The legislation is a bipartisan and it’s simple. It says that the EPA’s resources should be used to actually protect the lakes and rivers we all cherish, rather than for the Administration to launch arbitrary ideological attacks on middle-class homeowners and family farms.

“This bipartisan legislation would have required America’s clean-water rules to be based on the kind of scientific, collaborative process the American people expect — not some ‘arbitrary’ or ‘inexplicable’ process that’s ‘devoid’ of reason like we had with WOTUS, but a balanced process that actually takes the views of those it affects into serious consideration.

“I thank the Senator from Wyoming for his impressive work on the bill. A bipartisan majority of the Senate voted to support it. But most Democrats chose an ideological power grab over sensible clean-water rules yesterday.

“To many Kentuckians, this regulation feels like just the latest in a sustained Obama Administration regulatory assault on their families.

“Well, the Senate is going to pursue another avenue today to protect the Middle Class from this unfair regulatory attack.

“Our colleague from Iowa has introduced a measure that would allow Congress to move forward despite the Democrat filibuster. It would overturn the regulation in its entirety. A majority of the Senate voted to support this bill yesterday. We’ll vote on final passage later today. And because this measure cannot be filibustered, we expect it to pass.

“I ask my colleagues who voted against bipartisan, common-sense clean-water legislation yesterday to think differently today — work with us to protect the Middle Class instead of defending an ‘inexplicable, arbitrary’ regulation that’s probably illegal and almost certainly violates the Clean Water Act.”

Related Issues: EPA, WOTUS, Middle Class, Economy, Jobs, Regulations