Congressman Gibbs’ Testifies Before House Rules Committee on the RIP Act

April 29, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C.—Congressman Gibbs released the following video after testifying before the House Rules Committee on the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act (H.R. 1732). Below are the remarks as prepared.

“Today we respond to the 32 states and almost 400 counties who have requested that EPA withdraw or significantly revise the proposed Waters of the United States rule.  More than 1 million comments were filed on this proposed rule, and almost 70% of the substantive comments filed were opposed to the rule. This proposed rule is a clear expansion of EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act and flies in the face of two Supreme Court decisions. 

“The agencies have admitted to Congress in multiple hearings that the proposed rule has created confusion and uncertainty. The Clean Water Act was originally intended as a cooperative partnership between the states and the federal government, with states responsible for the elimination, prevention, and oversight of water pollution.

“This successful partnership has provided monumental improvements in water quality throughout the Nation since its 1972 enactment.   Not all waters need to be subject to federal jurisdiction.

 “I know several of my colleagues across the aisle would like us to wait until the rule is finalized before taking action. But by then, there’s little that anyone can do to fix the problems that will be created.  This bill gives the agencies, their state partners, and stakeholders another chance to work together and develop a rule that does what was intended– provide clarity. 

“The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act requires the agencies to withdraw the proposed rule and enter into a transparent and cooperative process with states, local governments, and other stakeholders to write a new rule. This is what EPA should have done in the first place.

“The Regulatory Integrity Protection Act will ensure that the agencies cannot re-propose the same broken rule they released a year ago, but does give the agencies an opportunity to get it right. Approximately $220 billion in annual investment is tied to the issuance of Section 404 permits. 

“The Executive Branch needs to provide certainty to stakeholders during the rulemaking process and ensure these significant investments continue. I want to thank the Rules Committee for their consideration of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act of 2015.”

**Click this link to watch the video.