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Hoeven urges overturn of Obama’s WOTUS veto

A U.S. senator from North Dakota is urging colleagues to override a presidential veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval over a federal water rule.

A U.S. senator from North Dakota is urging colleagues to override a presidential veto of a congressional resolution of disapproval over a federal water rule.

Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., spoke on the Senate floor Thursday, asking other members to overturn President Barack Obama’s veto of the congressional resolution earlier this week. The resolution that was vetoed was intended to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water of the United States rule.

“The EPA’s attempt to expand its reach through the Waters of the U.S. rule is the No. 1 regulatory issue,” Hoeven said in a press release. “The EPA has sought through administrative fiat to seize authority it does not legally possess.”

Since the resolution’s passage last year, it was known by members of North Dakota’s congressional delegation that the two-thirds majority needed to overturn a veto weren’t there.

Hoeven said he’ll push to have the rule defunded annually through the agency’s appropriation bill as well as repeal it through other legislation.

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Litigation is also another option already underway: Thirty-one states and multiple industry groups have filed suit against the EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A federal court blocked implementation of the rule last fall.

The full North Dakota congressional delegation along with state leaders have long slammed the rule as an example of the federal government overstepping its bounds in an attempt to strip states of water oversight.

State leaders and the delegation have said it would impact nearly all groundwater and subsurface water sources, making it unworkable for the state’s farmers and ranchers as well as industry and communities. The EPA has denied these claims.

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“This is sensationalism at its finest, and it does not deserve to be heard in our state capitol,” Rep. Erin Healy, a Democrat and one of 10 votes against the bill in the 70-person chamber, said.