WH threatens veto of GOP bill to kill water regs

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.
 

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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 Anthony BarrassoTrump’s infrastructure plan may slip to next month Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism Trump's infrastructure team to huddle with senators MORE (R-Wyo.) and Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyDems search for winning playbook GOP anxious with Trump on trade Blue wave of 2018 stops in Indiana and Missouri MORE (D-Ind.).

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