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June 24, 2014

Champions for Agriculture Propose Legislation to Ditch the Rule

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

A group of 30 senators has introduced legislation to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward with its proposed Waters of the U.S. rule. The proposed rule would negatively impact different industries and small businesses across the country, especially farmers and ranchers, which is why the American Farm Bureau supports the proposed legislation. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyS-2496 introduced by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming has 29 co-sponsors. American Farm Bureau chief lobbyist Dale Moore says these co-sponsors represent a Who’s Who of leaders on the Republican side of the Senate.
MooreThey have banded together to let EPA know very clearly that they don’t like this rule, they think it is a vast overreach, they think it goes around what Congress originally gave them as jurisdiction relative to navigable waters. The Supreme Court has told EPA here’s where your jurisdiction ends in the state and the local jurisdiction begins. Therefore, this legislation is pretty straightforward. We want you to withdraw this rule because you’ve got it wrong.
OtterbyMoore says it’s not unusual for Congress to introduce legislation that stops a federal agency from moving forward with a regulation, but the unusual aspect of this legislation is the list of co-sponsors.
MooreSenator Mitch McConnell. Senator Roberts, the former ranking member on the Senate Agriculture Committee. Senator Chambliss from Georgia, a former chairman and ranking member on the Senate Ag Committee. Senator Mike Johanns from Nebraska, a former secretary of agriculture. Senator Thad Cochran, someone who has chaired the Senate Agriculture Committee, has chaired Senate Appropriations, longtime champion for agriculture. If I were putting together a lineup of champions for agriculture and trying to get a point across to EPA, I could not ask for a better lineup on the Senate side unless I could get the other 70 senators to join in with them.
OtterbyWhile the proposed legislation is a big step forward, Moore still encourages farmers and ranchers to contact their elected officials to Ditch the Rule.
MooreYou don’t have to be an expert on the 110,000-111,000 words that EPA put out. What folks need to understand is this rule is wrong, and you just need to tell your congressman, your senator, your governor, your state legislator that they need to tell EPA to ditch this rule.
OtterbySeanica Otterby, Washington.

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