|WASINGTON (Jan. 20, 2016) – After bi-partisan passage in both chambers of Congress, President Obama vetoed Senate Joint Resolution 22, disapproval of the EPA’s “waters of the United States” rule. National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Philip Ellis said this is a clear indication the President does not understand the role America’s cattle producers, land owners and state governments play in preserving our natural resources.
“We are extremely disappointed the President chose to side with the EPA, which has pulled out all the stops and shown an appalling disregard for the law throughout this rulemaking process,” said Ellis. “In siding with the EPA, the President has ignored the will of Congress, including members of his own party. Moreover, he has taken side against the 32 states, and countless stakeholders who have challenged the WOTUS rule. With Congress clearly showing their disapproval of this rule, the consequences of WOTUS implementation now rest solely with President Obama.”
The Senate voted 53-44 on Nov. 4, 2015 and the House voted 253-166 on Jan. 6, 2016 in support of S.J.Res. 22. Public Lands Council President Brenda Richards said that while the outcome remains certain, the path is now much longer.
“Rather than ditch the rule, the President ignored the tidal wave of opposition to appease the EPA’s radical agenda,” said Richards. “Due to the President’s veto cattle producers, stakeholders, states and ultimately taxpayers are now going to have to spend millions of dollars on litigation to ultimately determine what we already know; the WOTUS rule extends beyond Congressional intent under the Clean Water Act and violates Supreme Court precedent. Once again the regulatory train wreck has landed squarely on America’s rural economy.”
NCBA and PLC filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court in Texas on July 2, 2015. That litigation will continue. While the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals considers jurisdiction, a temporary nationwide stay on implementation of the WOTUS rule remains in effect.
“Cattle producers need regulatory certainty,” said Ellis. “While the WOTUS rule remains at the EPA, we will continue to pursue litigation and legislation to bring about that certainty. This is a top priority for our members and today’s action shows that we have only begun our fight.”