Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 1, 2014

EPA, Army Corps of Engineers Likely No-Shows for Water Hearing

gosar 057 050813 445x315 EPA, Army Corps of Engineers Likely No Shows for Water Hearing

Gosar is one of several congressmen raising concerns over new EPA rules (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Arizona congressmen and property rights advocates looking for more information from federal officials at a June 2 hearing on the Clean Water Act are likely to be disappointed — no one from the Obama administration is expected to participate.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy was invited to the Phoenix meeting, but the EPA told CQ Roll Call Friday that she won’t attend.

“Well, we made the invitation,” said Paul Gosar, one of the Arizona Republicans who organized the hearing. He said Secretary of the Army John McHugh, who oversees the Army Corps of Engineers, has also been invited, but the congressman couldn’t confirm whether McHugh would be on hand. 

But the absence of federal officials won’t diminish the importance of the hearing, Gosar said.

“Do you understand about water in the West?” he asked. “Whiskey’s for drinking, water’s for fightin’ over.”

The battle began as a dispute over an EPA proposal to would extend federal jurisdiction over water to small creeks, ditches and even dry washes on private land. But Gosar said there’s more at stake.

“Water’s about everything,” he said. “And when the federal government controls water, it controls everything — that’s the problem.”

Gosar said Arizona Reps. David Schweikert, Matt Salmon and Trent Franks are expected to attend the Monday hearing, and other members, including Arizona Democrats Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick and Texas Republican Lamar Smith will be on hand or will send representatives.

Gosar said the hearing was intended to heighten awareness of the comment period for the proposed rule, and hopefully stop it before it’s ever implemented.

If it is, however, Republicans could be looking at legislation to deal with the matter, or looking to the courts to strike down the rule.

In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that the definition of “navigable waters” could not be limitless, and Gosar said Friday the proposal from the EPA, once again, was “absolutely” unconstitutional.

  • Yonatan YONATAN

    THE REPUBLICAN SENATE HAS FAILED THE MILLIONS OF UNEMPLOYED FAMILIES WHO HAVE BEEN WITHOUT AN UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION SINCE LAST DECEMBER. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE HELD THE EXTENSION BILL “HOSTAGE” IN THE SENATE FOR POLITICAL LEVERAGE, AND PARTY AGENDA. WHILE MILLIONS OF FAMILIES HAVE LOSS THEIR HOMES AND BECOME INDEBT, AND ARE IN FINANCIAL RUIN, THE REPUBLICANS CONTINUE DELAYING THE PASSING OF THE BILL. NOW IT’S MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS, AND IT LOOKS LIKE THE BILL WILL NEVER BE PASSED. MANY LIVES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED DUE TO THE TOTAL FAILURE AND LACK OF COMPASSION AND COMMON DECENCY OF THE REPUBLICAN SENATE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT FORGET THESE POLITICIANS IN THE COMING ELECTIONS, AND WILL VOICE THEIR CONTEMPT WITH THEIR VOTE. THESE POLITICIANS NEED TO BE OUT OF OFFICE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE CLEARLY SHOWN THEMSELVES UNWORTHY OF PUBLIC OFFICE.

  • http://none.com Jack Everett

    This republican scam to eliminate the EPA for corporate interests is outrageous. Clean safe potable water is everyones right not just the corporate pigs that waste it. Their is nothing the cons will not pulls to show their hate for America and it’s president. it’s time to send they party of fascists packing.

    Koch Brothers Exposed

  • hippie1367

    Weren’t these the same GOPer filth who were whining about New Orleans getting funds to rebuild in an unsustainable environment?

  • hippie1367

    Gosar is bought and paid for scum who would like to start a war with his fellow states that share the water rather than have the government look after all its citizens, not just Gomer Gosars campaign donors.

  • Oscar’s Wilde

    Those who seize the opportunities afforded by liberty also have a moral obligation to address directly resulting negative consequences.

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