UPDATE: Senate fails to override Obama veto

January 26, 2016 -  By
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Photo: Sonja Langford

UPDATE: A Senate vote to override a veto from President Obama fell short Jan. 21. Obama previously vetoed a resolution that would have overturned the Clean Water Rule, the Hill reports.

The 52-40 vote was short of the 60 votes needed for the cloture to move on to the House and ends a GOP push to stop the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Water Rule.

To override Obama’s veto, final passage would have required a two-thirds majority vote from both chambers of congress.

[UPDATE: Jan. 22] President Obama vetoed a resolution passed by Congress that would overturn the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, the Washington Examiner reports.

“We must protect the waters that are vital for the health of our communities and the success of our businesses, agriculture and energy development,” Obama said Jan. 19 in a statement. “As I have noted before, too many of our waters have been left vulnerable.”

Obama said the rule is necessary to protect from pollution the rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs that Americans depend on for drinking water, recreation and economic development.

Since the resolution did not pass either chamber of Congress with a veto-proof majority, a vote to override Obama’s veto is not expected.

[PREVIOUSLY: Jan. 14] The House voted Jan. 13 to overturn the EPA’s Clean Water Rule, which would protect certain waterways under federal regulation.

The House passed the resolution 253-166, the Hill reported. Twelve Democrats supported the resolution, and one Republican voted against it. The resolution passed in the Senate in November.

It is now headed to the desk of President Obama, who has promised to veto it.

The EPA said the Clean Water Rule aims to provide a clearer definition of the waters protected by the Clean Water Act. The rule will protect drinking water for more than 117 million Americans, according to the agency.

Adversaries claim the rule is an example of government overreach. They also fear the rule will hurt farmers, landscapers, developers and landowners by forcing them to request a permit to complete simple tasks like ditch digging or pesticide application.

The EPA said the rule “does not create any new permitting requirements and maintains all previous exemptions and exclusions.”

Industry associations like Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment, the Irrigation Association and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) are critical of the bill.

NALP released a statement saying:

“While President Obama will veto the measure, the fact that both the House and Senate passed the resolution will send yet another strong message to the Administration about opposition to the rule. More importantly, a strong vote by Congress could be raised in the various legal challenges to the rule to demonstrate that EPA and the Corps’ action is an example of regulatory overreach.”

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the Senate needed a two-thirds majority for a cloture to move forward to the House. A cloture requires a three-fifths vote of the full Senate, typically 60 votes.

Photo: Sonja Langford

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3 Comments on "UPDATE: Senate fails to override Obama veto"

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  1. James W. Basler says:

    Regarding the Senate vote to try to overrule the President’s veto of the bill overturning the Clean Water Act: I would just like to point out that the two-thirds majority needed to overturn a veto means that 68 votes were necessary in the Senate, not 60 as stated in the article. 60 votes is the minimum for ending debate on a bill in order to bring it up for a vote.

  2. ed hoffman says:

    Are we really taking a position that clean water is bad? We should embrace this legislation. Improvements to the environment are good for all of us and our business. I would think to get cleaner water to streams we would need to build buffer zones between industry and streams. Also safer use of herbicides and the development of safer herbicides near water ways will only make us stronger in the long run. Thanks Ed