Senate Fails To Override Veto Of Water Rule Repeal

Date: January 22, 2016

Many States, Business Groups Still Mounting Challenges To Rule

The Hill reported that in an effort to override President Obama’s veto of the Senate resolution to repeal the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, the Senate “fell short” of the necessary 60 votes needed for an override with a 52-40 vote. Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Joe Manchin (D-WV), and Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) reached across party aisles in support of the override along with all Republicans but Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). Despite losing the override vote, the Hill pointed out that passage of an override would have been even more difficult because “final passage would have required a two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress — a steep climb.” Commenting on the EPA regulation before the Senate vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said, “The administration has tried to spin WOTUS as some ‘clean-water measure,’ but a bipartisan majority of Congress understands it’s really a federal power grab clumsily masquerading as one. WOTUS would grant federal bureaucrats dominion over nearly every piece of land that touches a pothole, ditch, or puddle. It could force the Americans who live there to ask federal bureaucrats for permission to do just about anything with their own property.” The West Virginia Record also reported on the Senate’s actions and pointed out that challenges the EPA’s rule faces from 30 states and state agencies.

What This Means For Small Businesses

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” were “never meant to have federal control,” The Hill previously 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.” Ultimately, the rule would add an additional burden on small businesses. Unfortunately Congress was unable to do the necessary work to overturn this mandate, so small businesses are left hoping the court will do the right thing and repeal this onerous mandate.

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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