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 BarrassoSenate GOP to face off over earmarks next week Biden outreach on infrastructure met with Republican skepticism Sunday shows preview: Democrats eye passage of infrastructure bill; health experts warn of fourth coronavirus wave 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 MurkowskiModerates' 0B infrastructure bill is a tough sell with Democrats The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - CDC in limbo on J&J vax verdict; Rep. Brady retiring Trump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances 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 WhitehouseLawmakers say fixing border crisis is Biden's job Democrats wrestle over tax hikes for infrastructure Democrats look to impose capital gains tax at death MORE (D-R.I.) will discuss a carbon emissions tax at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.

Sen. Cory GardnerCory GardnerBiden administration reverses Trump changes it says 'undermined' conservation program Gardner to lead new GOP super PAC ahead of midterms OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Court rules against fast-track of Trump EPA's 'secret science' rule | Bureau of Land Management exodus: Agency lost 87 percent of staff in Trump HQ relocation | GM commits to electric light duty fleet by 2035 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 InhofeThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Tax March - US vaccine effort takes hit with Johnson & Johnson pause Biden sparks bipartisan backlash on Afghanistan withdrawal  Biden defense budget criticized by Republicans, progressives alike MORE (R-Okla.) and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) are scheduled to speak.


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