• Senate Votes to Block Waterways Regulation
  • November 10, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • On Wednesday, the Senate voted to block a new Obama regulation regarding federal authority over small waterways. The 53 to 44 vote - which saw three Democrats join all but one Republican - could block the rule from being implemented. That is unlikely, however, considering President Obama’s support for the regulation and opponents’ failure to secure a veto-proof majority.

    Republicans have long opposed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) assertion of federal authority over small bodies of water like wetlands and ponds. They argue it is federal overreach and rural states claim the EPA effort could negatively impact agriculture as well as energy development.

    While the effort failed to win the necessary 60-votes to overcome a filibuster, resolutions of disapproval such as this are exempt from traditional filibuster requirements, giving Republicans a rare opportunity to move legislation over the objection of the vast majority of Democrats.

    Not surprisingly, the White House issued a veto threat against the resolution this week, claiming the resolution would undo years of work to protect clean water and remove the regulatory certainty that businesses and communities need.

    In addition to legislative efforts, the EPA water rule also faces threats in court. Thirty-one states and multiple private businesses and industry groups are challenging the legality of the rule, and a federal court has blocked the rules implementation for now.