Last week, Congressman Paul Gosar, D.D.S. ledi a bipartisan appropriations language request signed by 120 members to the House Appropriations Committee to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) from using appropriated funds for the “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” rule, or any substantially similar rule:
“The EPA’s illegal water grab runs contrary to previous Supreme Court decisions, state water law and existing compacts. If implemented, this new mandate will delay important infrastructure projects, kill jobs, prevent private property owners from utilizing their own property, result in unnecessary fines and cause considerable harm to our economy,” said Gosar. “Farmers, ranchers, job creators and the American people can’t afford more thieveries of precious water supplies from the Obama bureaucracy. While federal courts have issued a temporary stay on the implementation of this lawless executive action, the House must act and utilize our Constitutional ‘power of the purse’ to defund this terrible new regulation.”
On March 25, 2014, the EPA and the Corps of Engineers released a proposed rule that would assert Clean Water Act jurisdiction over nearly all areas with even the slightest of connections to water resources, including man-made conveyances. Specifically, WOTUS attempts to expand agency control over 60% of our country’s streams and millions of acres of wetlands that were previously non-jurisdictional.
On January 28, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.R. 594, the Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act. This legislation has the support of 183 bipartisan cosponsors.
On October 9, 2015, a federal appeals court issued a nationwide stay blocking the implementation of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule resulting from a lawsuit filed by 13 states, including the state of Arizona.
More than 200 organizations and local municipalities have publicly declared their opposition to the proposed WOTUS rule.
On numerous occasions, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy broke the law by lying to Congress in order to try and impose WOUTS by regulatory fiat. On September 11, 2015, Congressman Gosar introduced H.RES.417 to initiate impeachment proceedings against Administrator McCarthy for these crimes.
Equally disturbing, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported in December 2015 that the EPA violated a federal law which prohibits lobbying by federal agencies from engaging in covert propaganda in order to promote new regulations.
Congressman Gosar has been fighting this overreach since its inception. In May 2014, he sent a letter calling for WOTUS to be withdrawn. The Congressman held a hearing in Phoenix in June 2014 where he heard testimony from 9 Arizona witnesses. Congressman Gosar has introduced legislation, inserted funding riders into appropriations bills, blocked a democrat amendment that tried to strip one of his WOTUS riders and voted at least five different times for legislation that has passed the House to block WOTUS.
In July 2015, he berated EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and submitted revelatory evidence into the Congressional Record from senior Army Corps of Engineer employees which expressed serious legal and scientific deficiencies with the final draft of the WOTUS rule. In January 2016, the House and Senate passed legislation blocking WOTUS utilizing the Congressional Review Act and put a bill on President Obama’s desk that he subsequently vetoed.