Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1644, Supporting Transparent Regulatory and Environmental Actions in Mining Actby Representative Earl L. "Buddy" Carter
Posted on 2016-01-12
CARTER of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of this rule and passage of S.J. Res. 22, which provides congressional disapproval on EPA's extreme overreach with their waters of the U.S. rule.
Last June, the EPA published its final orders of the U.S. rule that would virtually give them authority over any place water flows or accumulates. This would include driveways, ditches, manmade ponds, and even our watered lawns.
Currently, private and public entities spend an average of $271,000 and wait an average of 788 days to obtain permits from the EPA for projects currently under its jurisdiction. Expanding EPA's authority in this unprecedented way would be extremely devastating to landowners, especially farmers, and make devastating statistics even worse.
With this bill, Congress would nullify this ridiculous rule and continue to provide Americans with personal control over their property. Property is not an asset that can be taken control of on the whim of a government agency. Property rights are an essential natural right of every American, and this fact has been embedded in our country's DNA since its beginning.
I urge my colleagues to support this rule and S.J. Res. 22 so we can prevent this terrible law from infringing on the natural rights of all Americans.
Mr. McGOVERN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
I have heard a couple of speakers now talk on this, and I think some of the confusion might be cleared up if they actually read the rule.
The gentlewoman from Washington who spoke earlier talked about that this would regulate puddles. Well, the [[Page H306]] clean water rule does not regulate puddles. In fact, numerous comments were submitted to EPA asking the Agency specifically to exclude puddles. I have got good news for you: the final rules does just that, and the clean water rule does not regulate most ditches either. We might as well get those facts on the table.
I would urge my colleagues on the other side that maybe they ought to read the rule before they come up with a bill like the one they came up with.
Mr. Speaker, I don't know what else to say, other than the fact that this process stinks. Again, two closed rules and a structured rule on the third bill.
We have a controversial bill on Iran that is one of the most partisan pieces of legislation on foreign policy that has been brought to this floor by my Republican friends. It is really frustrating because I think there is a lot of common ground on holding Iran accountable where Democrats and Republicans could come together and actually craft something that had, if not unanimous support, almost unanimous support. I think that would be a powerful signal to send not only to Iran, but to the rest of the world. But instead of going down that road, my Republican friends decided to squander that opportunity and come up with a political sound bite.
The same goes for the two environmental bills that are being brought before this House. They are going nowhere, but they are nice sound bites, and they may please a particular special interest, but this is not serious legislating.
I am going to say to my colleagues again, I know you are going on your retreat this week, and maybe there ought to be a side meeting that some of my friends have about what it is that they think we ought to be doing here in this Chamber and what it is that they think that their job ought to be. I would suggest that it has to be about more than just political sound bites and messaging bills.
There is a lot that we need to get done. That requires us working together. I won't get everything I want and you may not get everything you want, but we need to figure out a way to make this place work because it is not working. There is a reason why the approval rating of Congress is like in the negative numbers. It is because people see consistently nothing but political sound bites and messaging bills come to the floor and get voted on and we debate them passionately, but they go nowhere. I think people would like us all better, Democrats and Republicans, if we actually accomplished something.
I hope you go on your retreat and you kind of reflect on that, and maybe you will come back the week after with a new outlook. Maybe all of these promises from the Speaker of the House and the previous Speaker of the House about a more open process about regular order will be more than words when you come back.
I would finally say again that I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the previous question so we can bring up this commonsense bipartisan bill to basically prevent those who are on the terrorist watch list from being sold guns.
Again, I, for the life of me, don't understand why it is so controversial, but in this House of Representatives it is.
Vote ``no'' on the previous question. Vote ``no'' on this closed rule, and reject this closed process.
I yield back the balance of my time.