Now that President Obama has signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) the next step is implementation.
Congressman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) says the bill not only includes much needed reforms, it also removes costly earmarks.
“It actually de-authorizes about $18 billion in projects that aren’t necessary, and really prioritizes what projects should be done,” said Gibbs, who also tells Brownfield he’s encouraged when it comes to getting the bill funded. “The appropriations process has been following the budget and what we have authorized, so I’m optimistic that it’s going the right way.”
In addition to his work on WRRDA, Gibbs also chairs the House Subcommittee on Water Resources and the Environment.
During a recent hearing on the EPA’s proposed changes to the Clean Water Act, the frustration of some members of that committee surfaced, including Gibbs.
“And I would argue all this does is extend their jurisdiction, it will expand more red tape, more bureaucracy, more people will have to get permits, opens it up for more litigation and lawsuits and does nothing to improve or enhance our water quality throughout the country,”
Gibbs also tells Brownfield that because of the level of frustration he’s looking into ways Congress may be able to put a stop to EPA’s overreach.
“The question I’m looking in to, can the House do it without the Senate, there’s been some that say we can and we’re actually exploring that,” Gibbs said. “We’ll probably have a vote in the House at some point, but I doubt Harry Reid will pick it up.”
Gibbs is encouraging those impacted by the proposed rule to take advantage of the comment period being extended and submit comments to the EPA.