Energy & Environment

Senate will vote to override Obama’s veto on water rule

The Senate will vote Thursday on a long-shot effort to override President Obama’s veto that preserved his contentious water pollution rule.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) filed for the vote Wednesday, less than a day after Obama announced that he had vetoed the GOP’s attempt to overturn the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation.

{mosads}The rule, dubbed the Clean Water Rule or “Waters of the United States,” would extend federal power under the Clean Water Act to small bodies of water such as streams and wetlands. It is highly controversial, with Republicans calling it a massive power grab and Democrats saying it’s needed to protect vulnerable waterways from pollution.

McConnell slammed Obama for his veto earlier Wednesday.

“[Waters of the United States] isn’t really a clean-water measure, it’s an unprecedented federal power grab clumsily masquerading as one,” he said in a statement. “In passing a bipartisan measure to overturn it, Congress stood up for the middle class and said that America’s clean-water rules should be based on the kind of scientific, collaborative process the American people expect — not Washington politics.”

Obama had told Congress that the measure “seeks to block the progress represented by this rule and deny businesses and communities the regulatory certainty and clarity needed to invest in projects that rely on clean water. I cannot support it.”

The resolution under the Congressional Review Act passed the Senate in November with 55 votes, far short of the two-thirds majority needed to override Obama’s veto.

The House’s vote last week was 253-166, also short of two-thirds.

A federal court has put the regulation on hold to allow the courts to decide whether it complies with the Clean Water Act and the Constitution.

Tags Clean Water Act Clean Water Rule Mitch McConnell Waters of the United States

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