In the evening hours of January 19, President Obama vetoed S.J. Res. 22, a Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS. WOTUS seeks to define the scope of waters protected under the Clean Water Act. IL Corn asked our members to contact their Congressmen and ask for a yes vote on the disapproval. You responded. The Illinois vote ended up falling along party lines. The President’s veto was not unexpected, however. His action now leaves the joint resolution as a mere position statement which may have some impact on the courts.
The resolution now returns to the Senate, where it must receive a two-thirds supermajority to override the veto. Given that the original resolution passed the Senate by a vote of 53-44 in November, a supermajority is unlikely.
Several lawsuits against the rule are pending. In October, a court issued a national stay to prevent implementation of the rule.
Illinois Corn Growers Association President Jeff Jarboe said, “We will continue to engage on this issue. It is so disappointing that the ridiculousness of this rule is so apparent to us, and so invisible to people in Washington.”
National Corn Growers Association President Chip Bowling said, “We are disappointed in the President's veto, especially in light of the recent GAO report that stated EPA engaged in ‘covert propaganda’ in an effort to sell the American public on this rule. This administration continues to ignore the will of Congress and the significant impact this will have on our country’s farmers at a time when they cannot afford more regulatory confusion and red tape.
“This resolution would have given us the opportunity to work together on a better rule we can all support. Instead, the future of WOTUS remains in the hands of the courts -- which may takes months, if not years, and comes at a considerable cost.
"Clean water is important to all of us. America's corn farmers are committed to protecting our water resources for future generations. NCGA has and will continue to work with the EPA on this important issue."