WH threatens veto of GOP bill to kill water regs

The White House has threatened to veto a Republican bill that would repeal a controversial Environmental Protection Agency clean water rule.
The House could vote this week on the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, a bill that would require the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to withdraw its Waters of the United States rule. The rule would define the EPA’s oversight authority over streams, ponds and small waterways that feed into larger ones, something Republicans have said amounts to overreach.

In a statement, the Office of Management and Budget said the rule is meant to clarify the EPA’s regulatory scope over waterways and fulfill the need “to protect the smaller streams and wetlands upstream.”
The statement said the House bill would “derail current efforts to clarify the scope of the [Clean Water Act], hamstring future regulatory efforts, and deny businesses and communities the regulator certainty needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water.”
“The final rule should be allowed to proceed,” the administration said. “It would be imprudent to dismiss the years of work that have already occurred, and no value would be added. The agencies need to be able to finish their work.”

Republicans have long warned against the EPA’s rule and looked to block it via legislation. A trio of GOP senators who are running for president co-sponsored a bill against the rule and, on Thursday, a separate group of senators will introduce its own version, authored by Sens. John BarrassoJohn BarrassoMcAuliffe: I wouldn't want a 'caretaker' in Kaine's Senate seat Goonies, Pokemon and ‘transsexual shake’ speak to raucous scene at convention GOP passes rules vote over outcry from Trump opponents MORE (R-Wyo.) and Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyOvernight Finance: Senate punts on Zika funding | House panel clears final spending bill | Biz groups press Treasury on tax rules | Obama trade rep confident Pacific deal passes this year Overnight Healthcare: Lawmakers leave for summer without approving new Zika funds Dems block defense spending bill for second time MORE (D-Ind.).

The EPA sent its final rule to the White House earlier this month for review.