On 20 January, US President Barack Obama vetoed a joint resolution of disapproval on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) waters of the United States rule – more commonly known by its acronym WOTUS.
Obama’s blocking of the legislative measure – which enjoyed bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress – demonstrates his lack of understanding on the role US cattle producers play in protecting America’s natural resources, said the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA).
‘Fight has just begun’
“We are extremely disappointed the President chose to side with the EPA, which has pulled out all the stops and shown an appalling disregard for the law throughout this rule-making process,” said NCBA president Philip Ellis.
“In siding with the EPA, the President has ignored the will of Congress, including members of his own party. Moreover, he has taken side against the 32 states, and countless stakeholders who have challenged the WOTUS rule. With Congress clearly showing their disapproval of this rule, the consequences of WOTUS implementation now rest solely with President Obama.”
The Senate voted 53-43 in favour of the resolution on 4 November 2015. The House of Representatives put further cross-party support behind the measure, voting 253-166 a fortnight ago.
“Cattle producers need regulatory certainty… While the WOTUS rule remains at the EPA, we will continue to pursue litigation and legislation to bring about that certainty. This is a top priority for our members and today’s action shows that we have only begun our fight,” added Ellis.
What is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association?
The NCBA is one of the country’s longest-serving national trade bodies, devoted entirely to the representation of American beef producers. Founded in 1898, it represents around 230,000 beef producers, feeders and breeders and helps promote trade, challenge policy issues and champion the economic interests of US beef globally.