Congressman Bob Gibbs released the following statement calling for Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown to push for swift Senate action on his bipartisan bill, HR 872, The Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, which passed the House of Representatives over six months ago but has yet to be brought to Senate floor:
"In March, a bipartisan super-majority of the House of Representatives passed my bill, HR 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act of 2011, which would prevent farmers all across Ohio and our nation from being subject to a burdensome duplicative permitting requirement for already regulated pesticides. However, this legislation remains stalled in the Senate.
"Time after time, we have seen special interests abuse the court system to try to side-step Congress in order to get a "pro-environmental" agenda implemented. If left unchecked, this judicially created rule that goes into effect October 31st would impose a substantial regulatory burden on our farmers and ranchers - starting with an estimated 365,000 new permit applicators and over $50 million and one million hours of additional paperwork. It would also restrict local government's abilities to protect human health.
"This was not the intention of the authors of the Clean Water Act or Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act. The Clean Water Act is intended to protect our navigable waters -- not prevent economic development.
"Sherrod Brown has refused thus far to call on his colleagues in the Senate Majority to put aside their partisan bickering and pass a bill that is good for Ohio and jobs throughout this country. Brown is taking his cue from a radical environmental lobby rather than pushing for HR 872, which even the EPA supports. HR 872 would reduce government's intrusion into the lives of Ohio's farmers, ranchers, and even private citizens who will have to spend their time and money filling out mountains of government paperwork rather than doing business and creating jobs.
"I urge Senator Brown to demand that his Senate leadership take up H.R. 872 immediately and send it to the President for his signature so that farmers and ranchers can focus on feeding and powering America -- not filing out duplicative permit applications."