4:08 PM EDT
Doc Hastings, R-WA 4th

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. Mr. Chairman, I too rise to oppose this amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia, an amendment offered, in my mind, to protect this administration's overreach on regulating all bodies of water in this country.

As my friend from Montana alluded to, this really is a job-killing amendment. Section 109 of the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill puts a check on this administration's proposed ``guidance'' on Clean Water Act regulations. Mr. Chairman, at a time when unemployment exceeds 9 percent, this so-called guidance document, from my point of view, being from the West, will undermine economic growth, increase permitting requirements, and undoubtedly lead to more litigation.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this guidance document ``would take an overly broad view of waters of the United States and would serve as a road map to designate nearly all bodies of water, and even some dry land, as subject to Federal regulation that dictates land use decisions.''

Mr. Chairman, water is a precious commodity, especially to those of us in the West. It is a necessary resource for many activities, including agriculture, energy, transportation, and recreation. Our economy and way of life cannot afford to have the Federal Government claim control of all waterways in this country. This administration's attempt to enact such Draconian regulations through regulatory fiat is a deliberate attempt to circumvent Congress.

[Time: 16:10]

As many of my colleagues know, the prior Congress could not pass an overly restrictive renewal of the Clean Water Act, so it's clear that this part of the regulatory agenda is aimed at picking up the pieces that the Congress could not enact last time. So it's for this reason that I joined 169 of my colleagues in April of 2010 to urge both the EPA and the Corps of Engineers to withdraw these proposed guidance regulations. That was in April of 2010. Unfortunately, this administration refuses to

do so.

So that is why section 109 is so important, to protect rural America from overzealous bureaucracies. For that reason, Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.