Shuster, Inhofe respond to president’s veto of congressional disapproval of WOTUS

House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) responded on Tuesday to President Barack Obama’s veto of a measure to reject the overreaching Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.

The resolution of congressional disapproval – S.J. Res 22 – passed both chambers of Congress with bipartisan support and would have vacated the administration’s June 29 publication of a rule that broadened the definition under federal law of “waters of the United States” while expanding federal regulatory power under the Clean Water Act.

“This WOTUS rule is anti-jobs, anti-farmer, anti-business, and anti-common sense,” Shuster said. “It was cooked up by the administration without legitimately taking into consideration the concerns of states, local governments, private citizens, or anyone that it will actually impact. Congress clearly told the president what Pennsylvanians and the American people know: this WOTUS rule is nothing more than a costly federal power grab. It’s truly a shame that he has not listened.”

According to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the WOTUS rule was published by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers without first properly consulting state and local authorities or without considering their rights, responsibilities, liabilities and budgets. Additionally, the rule was published without a realistic examination of the potential legal and economic impacts on private citizens, farmers and other stakeholders.

“This rule has been challenged by 32 states and the two courts that have looked at it so far have already determined it is likely illegal and have stopped the rule from going into effect while the litigation continues,” Inhofe said. “So, the view that WOTUS is an illegal and unprecedented power grab that would significantly impact our nation’s farmers, ranchers, landowners, and local governments is widely held. Further, in December, the Government Accountability Office issued a legal decision finding that EPA’s efforts to solicit support for this rule constituted covert propaganda and lobbying, which is an illegal use of taxpayer dollars. In the president’s State of the Union speech, he said he wanted to cut red tape – how about starting with the WOTUS rule?”

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