President Obama disagrees with Congress when it comes to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) controversial Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, which would dramatically expand EPA jurisdiction under the guise of protecting waters. Today, the President vetoed a bipartisan congressional resolution, S.J.Res 22, that formally denounced the WOTUS rule.
“The move did not come as a surprise. The President made it clear months ago that he supports the EPA in this jurisdictional grab, and would certainly refuse to sign the bipartisan measure of disapproval,” said Pam Whitted, NSSGA senior vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs. “We were heartened that Congress agreed with the 32 states and the dozens of trade associations, including NSSGA, that have sued over this rule. We will be following this litigation closely over the next few years.”
The Senate is expected to vote to override the veto this week, though the measure is not expected to surpass a 67-vote threshold for approval.
A nationwide stay of WOTUS enacted by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals remains in effect, and a hearing later this spring will determine which court(s) have jurisdiction of the case. NSSGA has background information on WOTUS available, including the bipartisan vote on S.J.Res 22, the Government Accountability Office report that found EPA broke federal anti-lobbying laws during the rulemaking and memos from the Army Corps of Engineers laying out their concerns with WOTUS.