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Agricultural News


US House Declares Their Desire to Ditch the Rule and Stop WOTUS on Bipartisan Vote

Wed, 10 Sep 2014 05:53:36 CDT

US House Declares Their Desire to Ditch the Rule and Stop WOTUS on Bipartisan Vote With 35 Democrats joining the Republican members of the House, that body passed the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014 Tuesday afternoon. Passage is largely an attempt to halt the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. Senate action is unlikely however before the end of the year, or at all- and the White House has threatened veto if it should ever arrive on the desk of the President.   


Still, passage was applauded by groups such as the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the National Pork Producers Council. NCBA's Ashley McDonald said "the interpretive rule actually narrows the scope of what is considered normal farming and ranching practices." National Pork Producers Council President Howard Hill stated "NPPC wants EPA to rescind its agricultural exemptions rule immediately and to either withdraw the WOTUS rule or work with agriculture to make changes in the proposal that reflect real on-farm conditions." House Ag Chair Frank Lucas said he was pleased that "the House approved this bipartisan, commonsense bill to block the EPA from expanding its control of our nation's land and water resources.


The nation's largest general farm group's President, Bob Stallman, issued a statement as well on behalf of the American Farm Bureau- "The House of Representatives today stood with farmers and ranchers and against the regulatory overreach of the EPA. Passage of H.R. 5078 isn't just a clear rejection of the overreach that lies in the EPA's proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. Today's action is an unmistakable signal that the tide is turning against those who ignore the constitutional separation of powers in the United States. We will ditch this rule."


Under current regulation, states have primary responsibility for regulating waters within their boundaries and twice the Unites States Supreme Court has reaffirmed this authority. The proposed rule strips this balance and expands federal jurisdiction to nearly every water in the country, including ditches, puddles and ponds. This measure was originally authored by Florida Panhandle lawmaker Steve Southerland. It prevents EPA and Corps from finalizing, implementing, adopting or enforcing the proposed rule and had the bipartisan support of 120 co-sponsors leading up to passage.   


Click or tap on the play button below in the video box to see the floor statement of Congressman Southerland during consideration of HR 5078 on Tuesday.



   



 

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