4:14 PM EDT
Bob Gibbs, R-OH 18th

Mr. GIBBS. Mr. Chairman, I must strongly oppose this amendment because it basically aims to gut the underlying bill.

This amendment is designed to ensure that the EPA can continue to unilaterally force its own one-size-fits-all [Page: H4985]

Federal policies onto the States' water quality programs.

The underlying bill, H.R. 2018, reestablishes the States' balanced role in carrying out the provisions of the Clean Water Act; but this amendment, in effect, says that the underlying bill will not apply virtually anywhere the Clean Water Act applies.

Implicitly, this amendment also says that the States cannot be trusted in protecting the quality of their waters and the health of their citizens, and the Federal Government knows best.

Once States have approved clean water programs, they are capable of administering their programs and caring for the welfare of their citizens. EPA needs to be more respectful of the decisions made by the States in those circumstances.

H.R. 2018 is a good bill that restores balance to an out-of-control U.S. EPA. The intent of this amendment is to make the bill completely unworkable. I would also add that I think that the Clean Water Act has worked until now when the States have been usurped of their authority and ability to enforce the State and Federal EPA environmental laws.

I urge all Members to oppose this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.

The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Oregon has 2 minutes remaining.