Week ahead: Senate panel to take up bill blocking EPA water rule

Senate Republicans will begin moving legislation to force the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to rewrite a rule asserting regulatory power over small waterways.

The Environment and Public Works Committee will mark up Sen. John BarrassoJohn Anthony BarrassoDems slam EPA plan for fighting drinking water contaminants Overnight Energy: Zinke joins Trump-tied lobbying firm | Senators highlight threat from invasive species | Top Republican calls for Green New Deal vote in House Senators highlight threat from invasive species MORE’s (R-Wyo.) proposal on Wednesday.

The bill would withdraw the EPA’s waters of the United States rule and give the agency directions on how to rewrite it, with the goal of limiting the waterways the EPA can regulate.


The committee held a hearing on the water rule in May, one week before EPA released its final version. Republicans have called the rule a “power grab,” warning that it expands the EPA’s regulatory jurisdiction to include small ponds and minor waterways.

Barrasso’s bill has more than two-dozen Republican co-sponsors, and three red-state Democrats have signed on as well. It’s the first bill on countering the water rule that the committee is marking up. The full House passed a bill repealing the rule in May.

The water rule isn't the only item on the Environment and Public Works Committee's agenda.

On Thursday, the committee will hear from three nominees for EPA assistant administrator positions. Ann Dunkin, Thomas Burke and Jane Nishida are scheduled to testify.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee will hold a hearing on a slate of energy accountability and reform bills on Tuesday.

Lynn Orr, the Energy Department’s undersecretary for science and energy, is scheduled to testify. Senators are writing a comprehensive energy overhaul bill.

The Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks will consider 10 bills on Wednesday. Among them is a bill from Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiOn unilateral executive action, Mitch McConnell was right — in 2014 The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Kidney Care Partners — Trump escalates border fight with emergency declaration On The Money: Trump declares emergency at border | Braces for legal fight | Move divides GOP | Trump signs border deal to avoid shutdown | Winners, losers from spending fight | US, China trade talks to resume next week MORE (R-Alaska) to rename Mount McKinley as Mount Denali.

Over in the House, the Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry will hold a hearing on the conservation programs included in the 2014 Farm Bill on Thursday.

The Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power will hold a hearing on the EPA's proposed ozone rule.

Off Capitol Hill, Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats brush off GOP 'trolling' over Green New Deal GOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (D-R.I.) will discuss a carbon emissions tax at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

Sen. Cory GardnerCory Scott GardnerBipartisan Senators reintroduce legislation to slap new sanctions on Russia Dems seeking path to Senate majority zero-in on Sun Belt Lawmakers eager for 5G breakthrough MORE (R-Colo.) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Cheryl LaFleur will speak at the Energy Efficiency Forum at the National Press Club on Thursday.

The Heartland Institute’s seventh International Conference on Climate Change is on Thursday and Friday. Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeAllies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump On The Money: Trump to sign border deal, declare emergency to build wall | Senate passes funding bill, House to follow | Dems promise challenge to emergency declaration Trump to sign border deal, declare national emergency MORE (R-Okla.) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) are scheduled to speak.


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