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During today’s House Appropriations Committee markup, Congresswoman Hinson spoke against reinstating Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) regulations on Iowa farmers.

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“Madam Chair, I am speaking in favor of Mr. Simpson’s commonsense amendment.

“Thank you for your leadership on this issue that is very important to my constituents in Iowa, farmers and ranchers who feed and fuel the world.

“The discussion around the Waters of the United States (or, WOTUS) has been problematic for years. This Administration believes that every single drop of water in the country should be subject to these overreaching federal regulations, even down to what our farmers describe as the puddles and ditches on our family farms in Iowa.

“These discussions are many times taking place by government employees who have never stepped foot on these family farms. If they had stepped foot on these farms, I think they’d know what I know having been out visiting the district: that farmers are the best stewards of their land – they know how to best manage their resources, not the government. Farmers care more about the quality of their water, their soil, and their crops more than the government does. It is in their best interest to do that.

“They are passionate about keeping their waters clean and healthy not only for our environment, but again, this is about sustaining their families’ farmland for generations to come.

“But instead of understanding and trusting in our farmers, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers instead want to impose these strict and impractical regulations just like the Obama Administration did.

“I wanted to bring up a little visual aid today to conceptualize what kind of impact this actually has on my state in Iowa. This map of Iowa shows the federally regulated lands if we were to revert to the Obama-era WOTUS. The tiny white specks on this map here are the areas that would be free of federal regulation. The red, as you can imagine, are the areas that would be regulated. So, 97% of Iowa, 97% would be subject to these federal regulations under Obama-era WOTUS.

“Mr. Simpson’s amendment is commonsense. We are waiting for the Supreme Court to hear the Sackett v. EPA case. The outcome of this case will determine the definition of Waters of the United States. There is no reason that the EPA should announce a rule prior to that Supreme Court case hearing and that decision.

“We shouldn’t let farmers get stuck in this political back and forth. This is not a game – WOTUS rulemaking changes how farmers do their jobs, impacts their long-term planning, their bottom lines. This amendment would ensure that farmers aren’t victim of regulatory whiplash, that back-and-forth, and that the EPA doesn’t release a new WOTUS ruling before that Supreme Court case is decided.

“I urge you to vote in favor of this common-sense amendment for the sake of our farmers, the stability of our food supply, and the ultimate good of our farmland and environment. And I would encourage you all to look at your states and see what that would look like for you.

“Thank you, I yield back.”

Author: Press Release

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