Idaho Senator Mike Crapo voted Nov. 4 to stop a federal rule seizing control over water, known as the “Waters of the U.S.” rule. Crapo voted with the majority as the Senate utilized the Congressional Review Act to pass a resolution stopping the water rule issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The effort needed just a simple majority and was passed on a vote of 53 to 44 That vote against the WOTUS rule came after a similar measure fell just short of the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle.
Crapo, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with jurisdiction over the EPA, invited Idahoans to testify on the bill last year. He said that despite today’s vote, the fight against the federal rule will likely continue because the president can veto the resolution.
“There was bipartisan support today to reject this extreme example of federal overreach, because it removes state’s rights over water and the private property rights of individuals,” Crapo said. “For the federal government to try and manage every puddle and seasonal stream in Idaho clearly violates the constitutional rights of Idahoans. The Clean Water Act—and subsequent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court—make it clear that ‘navigable’ waters can be regulated. Temporary puddles, ditches and groundwater are not ‘navigable” waters.
“The EPA is engaged in what I consider to be nothing short of a federal government power grab and seizure of water rights,” Crapo added. “This rule, which will effectively give the federal government jurisdiction over and control of all water in the United States is against the will of Congress. The legislation under which it is being promulgated violates the time-honored principal that jurisdiction over the management, allocation, and use of water is a states rights’ issue. We are hearing unprecedented opposition to this rule from 31 states, including Idaho, agriculture, business and individuals. This fight is far from over in Congress. Fortunately, two federal courts have issued a temporary injunction against this unjust rule.”
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