Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Hartzler votes to stop "federal land grab"
Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) today voted in support of a Joint Resolution that would stop the Administration’s controversial “Waters of the U.S.,” or “WOTUS” rule.
“Since its inception, the WOTUS rule has been nothing more than a federal land grab,”Hartzler asserted. “Congress, representing the will of the American people has, on many occasions, voted to repeal this onerous misinterpretation of the law. The Administration, however, insists on pushing Washington-centric, top-down rules and regulations on everyday Americans, placing undue burden and restrictions on them. A workable partnership between federal regulators and local authorities to implement clean water standards has existed for years. Changing the rule now to increase the federal presence shows it is nothing more than a land grab.”
“In Missouri, the WOTUS rule could effectively allow the federal government to dictate property rights on over 99 percent of Missouri land,” Hartzler exclaimed. “Ninety-nine percent! It is no wonder 32 states and hosts of public officials, local governments, business owners, and farmers have come out against this flawed rule. Those closest to the land—farmers, homeowners, small businesses, county and city governments—are best equipped to manage it. We owe it to them to do everything we can to stop this unnecessary land grab. Though President Obama is expected to again ignore the will of the people and veto this Joint Resolution, Congress needs to stand firm for our constituents and exhaust all options to restore personal property rights and local control.”
In May 2015, the House passed H.R. 1732, The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act which would nullify the EPA’s proposed rule and require the EPA and the Corps to develop a new rule, working with local governments and citizens, to classify Waters of the United States and clarify who has jurisdiction.
The Senate passed a motion to block the rule under the Congressional Review Act in November of 2015, which would have nullified the Waters of the United States rule and set strict parameters for the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in rewriting the rule.
EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act is expanded immensely under the final Waters of the U.S. Rule. Among the numerous questionable provisions, the rule would define “navigable waters” so as to regulate countless ephemeral drains, ditches and “wetlands” that only contain water when it rains. But whether they are wet or dry on any given day, farming, home building, business expansions, commercial development and countless other land uses in or near these land features will require a federal permit. Permits might take years, or might never be issued. The result amounts to nothing short of federal zoning authority.