The Senate is set to vote on several amendments to the FY2017 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill. Two amendments look to rein in federal overreach and spending. Sen. Hoeven is offering an amendment blocking funds from being used to implement the administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Another amendment, offered by Sen. Coats, would look to rein in federal spending in the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) loan program. The American Energy Alliance urges all Senators to vote YES on the Hoeven WOTUS amendment and the Coats ATVM amendment.
The Waters of the United States rule would allow federal agencies significant authority to regulate nearly all bodies of water, including small streams, ditches, and the like. This rule stretches far beyond the Constitution and warps the intent of the Clean Water Act. Expanding the definition of what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can regulate amounts to nothing more than a property grab, and could potentially affect any American property owner.
Sen. Hoeven’s amendment would prohibit the USACE from using funds to implement the WOTUS rule. This appropriations rider would effectively block the rule and send a strong message to the administration that the American people oppose this power grab.
The ATVM loan program provides direct loans to automobile and component manufacturers for production of fuel efficient parts and cars. The effectiveness of this program has been questioned ever since the failed Fisker auto debacle. Congress has recognized the shortcomings of this program – while it appropriated $7.5 billion for ATVM loans in 2009, for FY 2017 it only proposed $5 million. The federal government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers. Sen. Coats’ amendment looks to sunset a program that does just that.
AEA urges all Senators to support private property rights and rein in wasteful government spending by voting YES on the Hoeven amendment to block WOTUS and the Coats ATVM loan amendment, should they receive a vote.