The US Senate failed to end a democratic filibuster against legislation that would repeal EPA’s controversial “waters of the U-S” rule.
The senate fell 3-votes short (57-41) of the 60 needed to end a democratic filibuster of the “Federal Water Quality Protection Act” to halt EPA’s ‘WOTUS’ rule that vastly expands the agency’s waters jurisdiction. Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley predicted ultimate failure, even if the Senate had cleared the 60-vote threshold.
“But, I think there’s just so many of the 46 democrats that want to protect the president that we couldn’t over ride the veto.”
That would take two-thirds majorities in both chambers, to override. But none of that stopped WOTUS opponents from trying to free up a bill, similar to one the House already passed. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell leveled a ‘scathing’ attack on the Obama EPA:
“If you’re looking for an excuse to extend the reach of the federal bureaucracy as widely and intrusively as possible. Why not just issue a regulation giving democrats dominion over land that has touched a pot hole, or a ditch, or a puddle at some point. That would seem to be pretty much everything.”
Forcing producers to get a permit to do just about anything on their own land. Key democrats pushed back, arguing WOTUS will protect drinking water for millions of Americans and largely exempt agriculture. But a handful of farm state democrats co-sponsored the bill to stop WOTUS, including Indiana’s Joe Donnelly.
“No one wants cleaner water or healthier land more than the families that who live on those farms or who work on our farms every single day, right next to those waters. The same waters their children play in and swim in that they work with every day. That’s why countless Hoosier farmers are frustrated that Washington bureaucrats are calling the shots.”
Two federal courts also agree, the EPA WOTUS rule is flawed. A Cincinnati federal court put the rule on hold nationwide, calling it “inexplicable, arbitrary and devoid of a reasoned process.”
Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa introduced a resolution yesterday in the Senate, which did pass, that would order the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw the rule, and would prevent the agencies from further similar rulemaking.