Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Senate blocks revised WOTUS, but will debate its elimination

Senators on Tuesday voted narrowly to block a measure that would revise the Waters of the U.S. regulation, though the legislators voted to proceed on consideration of a resolution that would effectively eliminate the rule completely. S. 1140, offered by Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and others, directed managing agencies the U.S. EPA and Army Corps of Engineers to repeal WOTUS in favor of a regulation that "protects traditional navigable water and wetlands from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners."  After the bill was blocked, Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, offered S.J. Res 22 to eliminate the Waters of the U.S. rule entirely. S.J. Res. 22 requires a simple majority to pass. Following the 57-41 vote on S.1140, sponsor Barrasso said while the bill fell short, Republicans will not stop to ensure the rule is withdrawn. "A clear bipartisan majority of senators voted today to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal water grab. Regrettably, too many Senate Democrats chose to block this first real opportunity to vote yes to clean water and no to extreme bureaucracy," he said...more

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