HomeUS News updateHouse Republicans vote to overturn Biden rule on water protections

House Republicans vote to overturn Biden rule on water protections

WASHINGTON – The House voted Thursday to overturn the Biden administration’s protections for thousands of small streams, wetlands and other waterways, bolstering long-standing Republican arguments that the rule is an environmental overreach and a burden to business. Are.

The vote to overturn the rule was 227–198.

House Republicans used the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress to block recently enacted executive-branch rules. The measure now heads to the Senate, where Republicans hope to attract Democratic senators wary of Biden’s environmental policies. Sen. Joe Manchin, DW.Va., a frequent Biden opponent, has already pledged to support overturning a rule he calls federal overreach.

Biden said he would veto the measure if it reached his desk.

The Clean Water Rule was finalized in December and defines which “waters of the United States” are protected under the Clean Water Act, the nation’s primary water pollution anti-pollution law. The rule has long been a flashpoint among environmentalists, who want to broaden the extent of pollution entering the nation’s waters, and farmers, builders and industry groups who say stretching the rule too far is hard for business. .

The Environmental Protection Agency and the US Army Corps of Engineers repealed the Trump administration’s business-friendly rule that undermined protections.

Republicans have targeted the regulation in Congress and in court, where at least five federal lawsuits are challenging the EPA rule. The Supreme Court is considering a related case by an Idaho couple who have been blocked for more than 15 years from building a home near a lake after the EPA determined that part of the property was a wetland. which could not be disturbed without a permit.

The case, known as Sackett v. EPA, is expected to be decided this year.

House Republicans said their measure eases regulatory burdens for small businesses, manufacturers, farmers and “everyday Americans” by invalidating the Biden rule.

“American families, farmers, small businesses and entire communities are suffering from the economic crisis caused by the disastrous Biden policies of the past two years. The last thing they need is this administration’s inexplicable decision to take the country back to the excessive, costly and burdensome regulations of the past, which is exactly what this WOTUS rule does,” Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., K. said the chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, using a nickname for the ruling favored by Republicans.

The EPA rule “needs to be repealed to protect Americans across the country from subjective regulatory overreach that makes it harder to farm, manufacture and generate economic prosperity,” said Rep. David Rauser, RN.C, One on Water said the chairman of the House subcommittee. Resources and Environment.

The top Democrat on the infrastructure panel, Rep. Rick Larsen of Washington state, said the Biden rule seeks to balance the goals of the Clean Water Act and the need to protect water and wetlands with the sometimes conflicting views of the Supreme Court.

“The Biden rule is not correct. But, in my opinion, it is a better starting place for certainty, legality and protecting our nation’s water quality than the (Trump-era) dirty water rule,” Larson said.

The GOP’s bid to overturn the Biden rule is likely to create more uncertainty and further erode waters protected by the Clean Water Act, he said.

Congressional Review Act proposals require a simple majority in both chambers and cannot be filibustered. Democrats hold a 51-49 Senate majority, but Sen. John Fetterman, D-PA, is in the hospital being treated for depression and is unavailable for the vote.

Manchin, who represents an energy-producing state and has often clashed with Democrats on environmental issues, said the Biden rule “would perpetuate further regulatory confusion, place unnecessary burdens on small businesses, farmers and local communities, And will cause serious economic damage.”

The White House said in a statement that the Clean Water Rule would reliably guide business and agriculture, adding that overturning the rule would create further uncertainty.

Nine Democrats voted to overturn the water rule: Reps. Sanford Bishop and David Scott of Georgia; Jim Costa and Jimmy Panetta of California; Angie Craig of Minnesota; Henry Cuellar and Vicente Gonzalez of Texas; Donald Davis of North Carolina; and Jared Golden of Maine.

Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the only Republican to oppose the coup attempt.



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