Anti-WOTUS Legislation Vetoed by President Obama

Oklahoma’s Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate knew it was coming and President Obama handed them what they expected—a veto of their anti-Waters of the U.S. Rule resolution. Every member from Oklahoma in the House voted last week in support of the measure that would have overturned 2014 regulations from the Obama administration to expand the definition of waters subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Clean Water Act.

President Obama vetoed it Tuesday night, issuing a statement as he did so.

“Too many of our waters have been left vulnerable,” said the President in his veto message to Congress. “Pollution from upstream sources ends up in the rivers, lakes, reservoirs and coastal waters near which most Americans live and on which they depend for their drinking water, recreation and economic development.”

The House and Senate Republicans had used a rarely-involved law known as the Congressional Review Act to overturn the regulation known as WOTUS. But they’re short of the two-thirds vote necessary in each chamber to overturn the veto. It passed 53 to 44 in the U.S. Senate and 253 to 166 in the House.

Rep. Frank Lucas was an outspoken critic of rule as proposed by Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the EPA telling her during a July, 2015 House hearing, “Coming from a rural area, I’m a little sensitive about the Waters of the United States rule.” “There’s a fine line between doing things for people and doing things to people. There’s a perception across the country, whether it’s in ag or construciton, you’re not doing things for people. You’re inevitably doing things to people.”

Others called it another example of federal overreach by the Obama administration.


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