Thursday, March 26, 2015

Senate passes amendment limiting proposed Waters of the U.S. rules; lack votes to deny presidential veto

The Republican-led Senate passed a non-binding amendment on Wednesday to limit proposed Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rules that would re-define what bodies of water the Environmental Protection Agency regulates under the Clean Water Act, Philip Brasher reports for Agri-Pulse, a Washington newsletter. The amendment "spelled out various features that should be exempt from the anti-pollution law including isolated ponds, roadside ditches, irrigation ditches and stormwater systems."

The Senate voted 59-40 in favor of the amendment—Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) missed the vote but was expected to vote in favor of it—meaning there could be a filibuster-proof, 60-vote margin for a standalone WOTUS bill or amendment later, Brasher writes. The Senate is still short the two-third votes needed to overcome a presidential veto.

Assembling 60 votes to challenge Presidential Obama on this issue could also give Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) an issue that could be combined with his efforts to block the administration’s anti-coal rules aimed at climate change.

No comments: