Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act of 2014

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 9, 2014
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this legislation and in opposition to the EPA's Waters of the U.S. Act.

I represent Pinellas County, Florida, a district that lies between the Gulf of Mexico and Tampa Bay, surrounded by water and prone to flooding and storm runoff. So, like many coastal communities, this is an important issue to us.

EPA issues can be divisive--we know that--but they need not be. My message today is not one of anger. It is simple common sense. We can do better. The EPA can do better and the Corps can do better.

This is not a debate over clean water. Everybody in this body supports clean water. But this is a debate over the expanded jurisdiction of a Federal Agency and the current overreach of that Agency. In this case, this legislation is opposed by a variety of interests, from agriculture, shopping centers, chambers, homebuilders, manufacturers, transportation interests, but very importantly, by counties and mayors like many in my district who spoke to me in August.

We are called as Members of this body to represent our communities. Let's do that today. Let's represent the interests of our communities. This is not a moment for ``Washington knows best,'' because Washington does not know best in this case.

Mr. Chairman, we can do better. In this case, let's send it back and insist on a better rule.