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Washington, D.C. – Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) spoke on the House floor today in favor of H.R. 5078 to preserve local control against the EPA’s unprecedented attempt to expand its power over private property.

Watch McCarthy’s remarks here.

“Well I thank the gentleman for yielding, and Mr. Chairman I rise today against an awful, unlawful expansion of federal power.

“The EPA’s attempt at an unprecedented power grab will ultimately saddle the hardworking Americans, small businesses, and farmers with new onerous regulatory burdens.

“Under this proposed new rule, the EPA will be able to claim jurisdiction over almost all bodies of water in the U.S. So along with the bays and rivers, the EPA’s hand will extend over streams, ponds, ditches, and even storm-water runoff.

“Beyond sounding ridiculous, this rule will impact farmers, energy producers, and any private citizens that use their land for economic or recreational purposes.

“It is harmful and unnecessary. Now, I live in the West. The West is burdened right now with the drought. Some of that drought is based upon excess regulations that pick a fish over people, that water will run out to the ocean because of a regulation and a lawsuit.

“Now I’ve seen where regulatory effects and burdens have gone before. I have a town in my community called Taft. It’s a hard-working town like many of you have. And the EPA has been a part of it before. It’s a town that could be anywhere in America. And it had a waterway that the EPA said and it was called Sandy Creek.

“The only challenge though in Sandy Creek: it was a dry ditch. It had been dry for  30 years. So when they [Taft] came to me and they wanted to be able to move forward, they found that the federal government was trying to impose a permitting regulation—an excess regulation—on this private land.

“I had to personally call, and they said, ‘No, you could not do it because of the creek.’ I had to bring an individual all the way out, drive them out to the dried dirt, sit them in the dry creek bed until finally they said, ‘Yes.’

“Well, under the new bill, in fact, Sandy Creek will not be dry any more from the aspect that the burdensome regulation will be back on it. It could be redesignated and we will not be able to grow again.  

“Mr. Chairman, we are struggling with job creation in America. We are struggling where small businesses are trying to make ends meet. Milk prices are at an all-time high. Why would we burden America with more regulation? Why would we not unshackle what holds us back and let us be able to grow and let people keep their private lands and protect our water, but do it in a sense that has common sense? I yield back.”