Hoeven Continues Efforts to Repeal Waters of the U.S.

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, speaking on the Senate floor today, urged his colleagues to override President Obama’s veto of Congress’ Resolution of Disapproval to repeal the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. rule. Joined by three of his colleagues, Senators Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Hoeven stressed the rule’s severe impacts and excessive scope as well as the agency’s lack of legal authority to issue such a broad regulation. The measure, however, did not succeed by a vote of 52 to 40, short of the 60 votes required.

“The EPA’s attempt to expand its reach through the Waters of the U.S. rule is the number one regulatory issue, because of its severe impacts on the private property rights of our farmers, ranchers and businesses across sectors,” Hoeven said. “Further, there is a fundamental principle about how our government works at stake. The EPA has sought through administrative fiat to seize authority it does not legally possess. While I am disappointed that the override vote failed, I will continue my work to stop this burdensome regulation through the appropriations process.”

The Resolution of Disapproval, which passed Congress in November, was led by Senator Ernst and cosponsored by Hoeven and 48 others. Such resolutions are authorized under the Congressional Review Act, which allows Congress by majority vote to repeal actions by a federal agency after a rule is formally published and submitted to Congress.

Hoeven, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, continues working to block the EPA regulation, both by defunding it through the annual appropriations bills and by rescinding it through separate legislation, the Federal Water Quality Protection Act. Hoeven and a bipartisan group of farm-state colleagues introduced the bill in April, led by Senators Barrasso and Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.).