GOP slams EPA for overreach

Republicans are hitting the Environmental Protection Agency for its latest regulation on streams and wetlands.

The agency proposed a rule in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tuesday that seeks to clarify which waterways fall under their authority. The rule would not protect any new waters that have traditionally been exempt and does not apply to normal farming, ranching and forestry practices.

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Still, Republicans jumped on the rule, calling it another example of agency overreach.

"Today’s proposed rule by the EPA and Corps of Engineers is a massive expansion of power over the nation’s water resources," said Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeA third of Congress hasn’t held a town hall — it’s time to take action Anonymous affiliate publishes claimed list of GOP private contact info Wasting America’s nuclear opportunity MORE (R-Okla.) in a statement. "The Clean Water Act is written to include only navigable waters, but with this new rule, the agencies are giving themselves the authority to regulate everything from the nation’s largest rivers to small irrigation ditches found on family farms in Oklahoma."

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Collins skeptical of new ObamaCare repeal effort How Senate relationships could decide ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Alaska) also chimed in, saying the new rule would create "serious collateral damage" to the economy.

Louisiana Republican David VitterDavid VitterYou're fired! Why it's time to ditch the Fed's community banker seat Overnight Energy: Trump set to propose sharp cuts to EPA, energy spending Former La. official tapped as lead offshore drilling regulator MORE went so far as to say the proposal may be one of the greatest property grabs in history.

Republican's have not been on good terms with the EPA under much of President Obama's second term, calling the agency's carbon emissions rules a "war on coal" and energy jobs.

That reaction is exactly what EPA head Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyTrump plans to roll back environmental rule everyone agrees on EPA chief to visit Colorado mine spill site In the fight between Rick Perry and climate scientists, Perry is winning MORE sought to ward off ahead of time, saying the rule is not an expansion of the agency's powers in the slightest.

Another Lousiana senator, and vulnerable Democrat facing reelection in the upcoming midterms, Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuCNN producer on new O'Keefe video: Voters are 'stupid,' Trump is 'crazy' CNN's Van Jones: O'Keefe Russia 'nothingburger' video 'a hoax' Trump posts O'Keefe videos on Instagram MORE, joined in on the criticism.

"Today's proposed rule by the EPA represents yet another example of this agency overreaching and stepping outside of its bounds without thought to the economic consequences of its actions," Landrieu said.

"This decision lacks common sense and will hamper our nation’s efforts to increase domestic energy production, create jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and break the oppressive grip of tyrants and dictators across the globe," she said.

Landrieu threatened legislation that would block or reverse the proposed rule.

Conservation advocates, however, applauded the proposal for providing certainty, and protecting streams and wetlands that are presently in legal limbo.