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Republicans subpoena Obama chief on water rule

Waterways

Members of Congress demand answers on a new EPA water rule.

Republican lawmakers subpoenaed a top-ranking White House administration official over a controversial water rule that gives the Environmental Protection Agency broad regulatory powers, saying at the very least those in Congress have a right to know the logic behind its creation.

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“The proposed regulation is highly controversial and Congress has a right to know how it was developed,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in a subpoena from his House Oversight Committee to the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the Hill reported. OIRA reviews major federal regulations before their issuance.

Chaffetz, along with several of his Republican colleagues, say Howard Shelanski. the chief of OIRA, purposely and wrongfully withheld documents on the water rule that Congress has been requesting since March.

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As previously reported by WND, critics say the new regulation will give the EPA power to control any body of water, even puddles, along with adjacent lands.

“The documents and communications that the committee requested will advance our understanding of the review process and the factors that OIRA considered during that process,” Chaffetz said, the Hill reported.

Joining the subpoena efforts was Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the panel’s government operations subcommittee. Both Meadows and Chaffetz say they’ve asked Shelanski and his staff for information on the water rule’s review process but have been steadfastly refused.

Republicans in the Senate, meanwhile, sought similarly.

“I have been waiting for over four months for a legal justification of EPA’s redefinition of ‘waters of the United States,;’” said Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, who chairs the subpanel with water oversight and who signed onto Inhofe’s letter, the Hill reported. “Having reviewed the final rule, the reason for the delay is apparent — the final rule cannot be justified.”

Both the House and Senate are working to overturn the EPA’s water rule via legislation. Meanwhile, two dozen businesses have already filed suit against the regulation, saying it gives the EPA broad powers to take unconstitutional steps.

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