Floor Statement by Chairman Conaway in support of resolution to disapprove the Waters of the United States rule

Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway delivered remarks on the House floor in favor of S.J. Res. 22, a resolution to disapprove the Waters of the United States rule.

Remarks as prepared for delivery:

“I rise today in strong support of S.J. Res. 22, a resolution to disapprove the Waters of the United States rule – a rule that amounts to a massive overreach by the Obama Administration’s EPA.

“This rule and the process in which EPA developed it ignored stakeholders, ignored states, and as reports have shown, even ignored concerns from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal agency that was supposed to be co-developing the rule.

“Through hearings, letters, and public forums, we repeatedly asked the Administration to start over with a process that works with stakeholders to achieve the goals of the Clean Water Act rather than act like a schoolyard bully. We all want clean water, and we can and should work together to achieve it.

“Unfortunately, all of these requests fell on deaf ears, and the Administration, in what has become an all too common pattern, moved forward to ram this rule through with little regard to the comments or concerns of Americans.

“The final rule ignores the spirit and intent of the law in that EPA has claimed Federal jurisdiction over essentially any body of water such as a farm pond, or even a ditch that is dry for most of the year.

“America’s farmers and ranchers deserve a government that will review and consider their thoughts, not a government that refuses to engage stakeholders and hands down orders from on high.

“The process of developing this rule was flawed from the get go, and the final product was right on par with an Administration that wants to impose its authoritarian will on every inch of this great land.

“That is why the House voted overwhelmingly in favor of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015.

“That is why I stand before you today to ask your support of S.J. Res. 22.

“Americans deserve better.

“I yield back the balance of my time.”