Obama vetoes Congressional rejection of WOTUS rule

WOTUS gives the federal government more power to regulate waters and waterfront lands.
WOTUS gives the federal government more power to regulate waters and waterfront lands. | File photo

President Barack Obama on Wednesday vetoed a measure that rejects an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule giving the federal government sweeping authority to regulate all waters or wet areas in the United States.

“This [Waters of the United States] WOTUS rule is anti-jobs, anti-farmer, anti-business and anti-common sense,” House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) said. “It was cooked up by the administration without legitimately taking into consideration the concerns of states, local governments, private citizens, or anyone that it will actually impact. Congress clearly told the President what Pennsylvanians and the American people know: this WOTUS rule is nothing more than a costly federal power grab. It’s truly a shame that he has not listened.”

WOTUS gives the federal government more power to regulate waters and waterfront lands. The WOTUS rule was published in June 2015 by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers.

“This rule has been challenged by 32 states and the two courts that have looked at it so far have already determined it is likely illegal and have stopped the rule from going into effect while the litigation continues,” Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee chairman, said. “So, the view that WOTUS is an illegal and unprecedented power grab that would significantly impact our nation’s farmers, ranchers, landowners, and local governments is widely held."

Inhofe noted that in December, the Government Accountability Office issued a legal decision finding that EPA’s efforts to solicit support for this rule constituted covert propaganda and lobbying, which is an illegal use of taxpayer dollars. 

"In the president’s State of the Union speech, he said he wanted to cut red tape," Inhofe said. "How about starting with the WOTUS rule?”

Organizations in this story

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1200 Pennsylvania Ave NW Washington, DC - 20460

U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 2165 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, DC - 20515

Get notified the next time we write about any of these organizations