Obama Vetoes Bill Intended To Overturn Waters Of The US Rule

Date: January 20, 2016

EPA Overreach Still On Hold As Courts Consider Regulation

President Obama on Tuesday vetoed the congressional resolution of disapproval passed to overturn the Waters of the United State rule. The Washington Times reported that the measure that would have blocked the EPA rule establishing “federal authority over small waterways such as wetlands and ponds.” In his veto message to Congress, Obama said the rule was “critical to our efforts to protect the nation’s waters and keep them clean.” He added, “Because this resolution seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny businesses and communities the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water, I cannot support it.” USA Today reported that Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst (R), sponsor of the regulation, “said she would continue to look for ways to undermine the rule.” Ernst said in a statement: “This rule is not about clean water. Rather, it is about how much authority the federal government and unelected bureaucrats should have to regulate what is done on private land.”

What Happens Next

The Senate passed the resolution by a vote of 53-44 and the House approved it 253-166. Because the resolution lacked two-thirds majorities, any effort to overturn the President’s veto would symbolic. A Federal court has enjoined enforcement of the rule pending its review in the court system.

What This Means For Small Business

The Waters of the United States rule is a prime example of the current administration’s excessive approach to regulation. The rule could extend federal jurisdiction to “puddles, wet areas and other water and land that was never meant to have federal control,” The Hill reported, and “farmers, developers and other land users say that the rule would require federal permits for simple, everyday tasks like digging ditches and spraying pesticides.” The rule would add an additional burden on small businesses.

Additional Reading

The NFIB previously reported on the Waters of the United States rule.

Note: this article is intended to keep small business owners up on the latest news. It does not necessarily represent the policy stances of NFIB.

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