Congress Could Give Trump The Power To Immediately Repeal The ‘Waters Of The US’ Rule

 From The Daily Caller

Trump-rally-1-e1501165683970 US President Donald Trump speaks during a “Make America Great Again” rally at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown, Ohio, July 25, 2017. (PHOTO: Getty Images/AFP/SAUL LOEB)

The long-anticipated battle to repeal the Obama administration’s contentious “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule may be cut short if the Senate passes the House’s “minibus” spending bill.

The Senate will soon reconcile their budget bill with a nearly $790 billion spending bill passed by the House on Thursday. The bulk of the bill has to do with defense spending, but one small provision would allow the Trump administration to immediately withdraw WOTUS without having to go through the formal public comment process.

The appropriations bill says the administration “may withdraw the Waters of the United States rule without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.”

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers jointly administer WOTUS, which was finalized by the Obama administration in 2015. The rule never really went into effect, however, because the courts quickly halted its implementation.

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If passed by the Senate, the bill would allow the Trump administration to bypass the Administrative Procedures Act that requires rules, whether being proposed or withdrawn, to be subject to public comments.

Passing the bill would be a big win for the 31 states and dozens of businesses, trade groups and conservative groups challenging the legality of WOTUS in court. It would also save the EPA the trouble of putting their withdrawal through a cumbersome process.

President Donald Trump ordered the EPA in February to rewrite WOTUS in a manner consistent with former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in the 2006 Rapanos v. U.S. case that’s more restrictive of federal control of waterways than what the Obama administration proposed.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced that the agency was rewriting the rule in late June. The EPA published the first step of its plan to repeal and replace WOTUS in the Federal Register on Thursday.

The “minibus” bill would also prohibit the EPA and the Corps from using the Clean Water Act, the WOTUS rule’s overarching legislation, to regulate certain bodies of water on farmlands, including ponds and irrigation ditches.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate, but first it must be reconciled with any Senate appropriations bills for energy and environment-related matters. Once reconciled, the bill would need to be approved again.

Senate Democrats may pose somewhat of a problem since they want increases to domestic spending programs along with the rise in defense outlays.

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39 thoughts on “Congress Could Give Trump The Power To Immediately Repeal The ‘Waters Of The US’ Rule

  1. As WOTUS never was enforced, simple repeal would preserve the status quo. The green blob will still sue, but without a rule on their side, not that that matters to them.

    • So what is the secret of the WOTUS ” rule” that the essayist doesn’t want to tell us ??

      Some of us have not yet learned the texting language; preferring to use English or some other recognized language.

      G

      • I thought the very same thing as you as I read this. I do NOT want the federal government to unillaterally be able to put oil rigs along state coast lines without regard to the input of the people who live there. Yet, that’s the feeling I got when I read this post.

      • george e. smith July 30, 2017 at 10:08 am

        So what is the secret of the WOTUS ” rule” that the essayist doesn’t want to tell us ??

        Some of us have not yet learned the texting language; preferring to use English or some other recognized language.

        G

        Huh? Who or what are you talking about? As far as I know the head post said nothing about any “secret of the WOTUS rule”, so I have no clue what your issue is. QUOTE THE WORDS THAT YOU ARE DISCUSSING!

        w.

      • RJ Dean July 31, 2017 at 10:13 am

        I thought the very same thing as you as I read this. I do NOT want the federal government to unillaterally be able to put oil rigs along state coast lines without regard to the input of the people who live there. Yet, that’s the feeling I got when I read this post.

        Again, QUOTE THE EXACT WORDS THAT YOU ARE DISCUSSING. Yes, you may get a “feeling” from the post, but that’s on YOU, not on the post. We cannot deal with your feelz.

        Next, nothing in the head post nor the WOTUS rule have anything to do with offshore oil drilling. It is regulated by the Federal Government and has been since long before the EPA even existed.

        And no, “the input of the people who live there” doesn’t have to be considered in the slightest. Obama cut oil exploration in the North Sea over the strong objections of the folks in Alaska.

        Don’t like it? Change the law.

        w.

    • In reality, the WOTUS has been enforced for decades and was already a very flakey regulation. The USACE was placed in charge of permits for projects affecting WOTUS (under the existing definition – not the “new” version stayed in 2015). The existing version is crazy enough that if you accidentally open a spring area playing around on a bulldozer, and you leave it open long enough to develop a “wetland” habitat, you might very well be stuck with it and be required by the Corps to delineate “mitigation” steps to limit project effects on your new wetland, before you are issued a permit from the Corps. This is NOT an imaginary example.

      • BTW, when I wrote “accidentally open a spring area” I mean push rocks around on a dry upland hill slope with no surface evidence of water and suddenly have a pool in your dozer cut. I saw this happen and two years later the guy had frogs and cattails in the pond and it had become a “statutory wetland.”

  2. Both parties seem determined to keep the Federal foot on the neck of Americans, dictating everything from bathrooms, to putting illegal alien adults in middle schools, to encouraging voter fraud, to make believe science gods in need of worship, to disarming Americans and ignoring criminals, to choosing doctors and treatments. It is disgusting.

    • … choosing doctors and treatments …

      Life always has compromises. Lots of Americans have the choice of doing what their HMOs want or going bankrupt. link Medical bankruptcy is a real problem but, if we’re being fair, it’s probably overstated. link

      Anyway, with regards to medical care, unless you’re rich, your freedom of choice is mostly an illusion.

      • In all due respect I’d be surprised if medical bankruptcy is actually a problem at all. It’s important to note that unpaid medical bills are not weighted the same as other unpaid bills on an individual’s credit score. Someone can have thousands of dollars in unpaid medical debt and still maintain a decent credit score (I know this personally). Additionally; for a long time hospitals have been required by law to treat an emergency patient whether or not he/she has insurance.

        I suspect that the idea of medical bankruptcy is somewhat of a ruse to cover up the fact that national health actually would put people into bankruptcy. I think we can all agree that Medicare and Medicaid actually are national health programs. Unlike employer sponsored plans Medicare has no major medical provision: it’s basically 80% coverage for everything. So, a $100K heart operation leaves the patient with a $20,000 copay. The solution for that patient then becomes Medicaid but Medicaid didn’t kick in (back in 2011) if the patient had more than $2,000 in cash assets. So, the above heart patient pays up to $18,000 (if they have it) before Medicaid pays the remainder. Forever after that patient cannot have more than $2,000 (which will barely get you into an apartment in Chicago). Sure, they’re allowed to keep their car and home but Medicaid will confiscate those assets when the patient dies. Voila; a virtual form of bankruptcy to avoid?…

        …bankruptcy?

        In reality national health is a scheme for the government to get the money instead of the private sector. But, unlike the private sector the government ‘will’ get the money.

      • In the US, there is not such thing as “medical bankruptcy”. It’s bankruptcy, period. It doesn’t matter if it’s due to credit card bills, illness, buying a house one cannot afford, etc. It’s Chapter 7, usually, where most debts can be eliminated (except IRS and student loans). The “medical bankruptcy” is used to try and excuse why the bankruptcy occurred.

        Tom: That depends. If you make deals with the hospitals and make payments, you’re probably not going to have any problems. If you just don’t pay, the bills may go to collections and that does affect your credit score.
        As for the bill left after Medicare costs, there are a ton of insurers that will sell you insurance to make up the difference or part of it. I find it interesting they will not sell such a policy to those who are under 65, meaning the 64 year old guy pays the $20,000 and the 65 year old with the medigap policy doesn’t pay the whole amount. What a different a year makes.

      • Tom Judd July 30, 2017 at 5:28 am

        In all due respect I’d be surprised if medical bankruptcy is actually a problem at all.

        The article I linked points out that if you’re sick enough to need really expensive care, you’re probably not able to work and make money. Even if you could ignore the medical bills, that itself could bankrupt you. In that case I suspect that you’d be counted as a medical bankruptcy.

        You have entrenched positions on both sides and that makes it darn hard to come up with trustworthy numbers. That said, my Canadian snowbird friends make sure they don’t spend so long in Florida or Arizona that they lose their medical care. link I guess they think it’s better than the alternatives. :-)

    • Willis, I checked out your site and found your WOTUS post enlightening. I must, however, take issue with this statement of your’s concerning Trump’s victory:

      “We’ve won big already, so we’re willing to overlook what to us are trivial issues.”

      No, no, no Willis. We did not win “big”. We won ‘bigly’!

    • Surely, there are enough sane Democrats to offset John “Benedict Arnold” McCain and the RINO Sisters this time!

      • It is my honest and learned opinion that John “Benedict Arnold” McCain is the most notorious “do-nothing” fence straddling RINO ever elected to public office.

        Iffen I had been an AF Officer imprisoned for five (5) years as a POW in a foreign country, …… upon being freed by my captors, I sure as hell wouldn’t return to the US of A and be telling everyone, …… “Yes, ….. torture works.”. Would you?

        Why I would even claim that “waterboarding” is a waste of time.

      • You tellum Janice ! McCain gives the Senate a sermon, and then he comes back and folds. He doesn’t seem to be very good at making friends.

        G

  3. aus already HAS a lot ofwhat youre hoping to halt
    and the bad news is?
    Vic govt is looking to gain greater control still.
    local paper ran a very small one time only menion of submissions by public on changes
    NOT mentioning at all whats planned of course
    you have to spend hours trying to find that somewhere online on multiple govvy greentard sites

  4. Why is President Trump invariably shown with unflattering images.
    I’m convinced those concerned go out of their way to do this. It happened throughout the election process and continues now.

    • Both sides use unflattering images of the politicians they do not like. Pelosi has some great shots out there on conservative sites—exceedingly unflattering. It’s a throw back to grade school—a pictoral way of name-calling. The only cure is a society where people actually mature with age. Those societies are few and far between and the one we live in now is very far from the mark.

      • The only difference is that Pelosi shots are real, Botox and age have taken their toll.
        I do get annoyed when the media shows shots of Politicians that are from 30 years ago not recent to hide their age.

      • Universities have made it impossible for maturity to happen, instead thinking it wiser to keep students in safe zoned play pens, cribs, and bassinets while the only thing they are given to chew on is a sanitized binky.

  5. Of course the media go out of their way to create negative images of Trump. It’s their nature to appeal to and encourage the baseness of humanity. I lost track of the times they photographed Obama’s head framed by something in the background that made it look like he had a halo or corona.

  6. latest: “The personnel of the US diplomatic missions in Russia will be cut by 755 people and will now equal the number of the Russian diplomatic personnel in the United States, 455 people on each side,” Putin said in an interview with Vesti.ru channel.

    • There’s another hit to the Russian economy. 755 less rich Americans living there. First fracking and now this!
      :-)

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