A Nebraska Congressman says it’s important to keep up the fight against the Waters of the United States rule, even if President Barack Obama supports the EPA initiative.
Congressman Adrian Smith says he expected President Obama to veto the resolution opposing the EPA expansion of the Clean Water Act, known as the Waters of the United States rule.
“We should not only take up issues that we know the president is going to sign, it’s important that we put stuff on his desk that establishes the record,” Smith tells Nebraska Radio Network.
Smith sponsored the House version of the resolution, H.J. Res. 59. It called for WOTUS to be disapproved under the Congressional Review Act. The passed and sent to the president the Senate version, S.J. Res. 22.
WOTUS expands the Clean Water Act, giving the Environmental Protection Agency jurisdiction well beyond the “navigable” waters included in the law. EPA officials have defended the action, stating the extension of EPA authority is necessary to curb pollution at the source.
The move has sparked widespread protest among agricultural groups which contend it will give the EPA unprecedented power to regulate creeks, ponds, even ditches on farms. EPA officials insist the complaints are overblown.
Smith raises another issue: Congress refused to pass WOTUS legislation. The EPA moved ahead anyway.
“This one of the examples of the president using his pen or his phone to go around Congress,” according to Smith.
Now that Congressional efforts to reject WOTUS have been stopped by the president, Smith pins his hopes that the courts will throw out the rule. Implementation of WOTUS has been blocked by the courts until there is a ruling on the constitutionality of the EPA’s action to move ahead with the rule.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]