Today, Representatives Roger Marshall (KS-01), Paul Gosar (AZ-04) and Ted Yoho (FL-03) released the following statements after leading and submitting an appropriations language request to the House Appropriations Committee to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from using appropriated funds for the “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” rule, or any substantially similar rule:
“The WOTUS rule is one of the most egregious rules of the Obama regulatory regime,” said Rep. Roger Marshall. “WOTUS has been a thorn in the side of the Kansas farmer, and those across the country, who know better than a bureaucrat in Washington as to how to maintain their land. This remains a top issue for farmers in Kansas, and across the country, and I am proud to be a part of returning control from the federal government back to the farmer.”
“While we have great confidence in President Trump and Administrator Pruitt protecting farmers, ranchers and property owners from this lawless water grab, Executive Branch actions will still take time and there could be subsequent legal proceedings,” stated Rep. Paul Gosar. “Congress must once again utilize the power of the purse and take a clear position against WOTUS by including our funding rider. I applaud Congressmen Marshall and Yoho for their excellent work and have enjoyed leading this fight with them.”
“WOTUS is an ill-conceived, destructive, rule that stands in the way of job creation and economic growth for farmers and ranchers in North Central Florida and across America. The WOTUS rule is the child of the Obama administration and was a regulation that amounted to nothing more than a federal power grab,” said Rep. Ted Yoho. “I am honored to join with Reps. Marshall and Gosar, in working to see the elimination of WOTUS.”
The full text of the appropriations language request can be found HERE.
This appropriations rider request ensures that no funds will be spent to expand the Clear Water Act through WOTUS. The request is consistent with President Trump’s Executive Order, allowing for a review yet still requiring compliance with federal law and United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in Rapanos v. United States, 547 U.S. 715 (2006).
In total, 22 members of the House submitted this appropriations request to block WOTUS including: Reps. Babin, Cramer, Dunn, Gosar, Hartzler, Hice, Hudson, Hunter, LaMalfa, Marshall, McClintock, McSally, Olson, Pearce, Ratcliffe, Rokita, Sessions, Tipton, Wagner, Weber, Yoho and Don Young.
WOTUS was slated to go into effect August 28, 2015. Fortunately, the Sixth Circuit issued a nationwide stay and temporarily blocked implementation of this rule.
On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over nearly all areas with even the slightest of connections to water resources, including man-made conveyances.
WOTUS directly contradicts two Supreme Court decisions. The Heartland Institute has stated, “In reality, the language of the EPA rule is so vague this ‘clarification’ could grant Washington, D.C. jurisdiction over any body of water anywhere. It was to apply to any water or wetland deemed to have a ‘significant nexus’ to any navigable waterway, with the significant nexus, as described by a Wall Street Journal editorial, so widely interpreted as to include ‘any creek, pond or prairie pothole’ and ‘any land within a 100-year floodplain and 1,500 feet of the high water mark or, alternatively, within the 100-year floodplain and 4,000 feet of waters within their claimed jurisdiction.’ Essentially, the WOTUS rule would put EPA in charge of every piece of land occasionally containing any amount of concentrated water, practically down to the puddle level.’”
On February 28, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order requiring the Administrator of the EPA and the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works to review the Obama Administration’s Waters of the United States Rule and rescind any aspect of WOTUS inconsistent with federal law in order to ensure economic growth, restore the Rule of Law and minimize regulatory uncertainty. Click HERE to read more.