With friends like these...

A virtually solid block of congressional ag supporters from both parties are incensed over the President's and EPA's roughshod trampling of congressional prerogatives in the recent issuance of TMDL final rules.

This action has provoked legislation in many quarters. There are bills to overturn the EPA rule under the Congressional Review Act provision of The Small Business Regulatory Enforcement & Fairness Act of 1996 and various riders set to be attached to remaining appropriations bills which still require congressional passage for FY 2001.

On Sept. 7 the House Ag Committee was scheduled to hold hearings and markup H.R. 1592. This is the bill, which we all have supported. It would force EPA to follow good science and use an open process in development of FQPA regulations.

We feel sure that the TMDL issue was somehow brought into these hearings.

To further politicize the TMDL issue a few (at this writing) liberal Democrats led by Rep. Bonior (D-Mich.) have written a well-publicized letter to House Democrats and have drafted a letter congratulating Mr. Clinton for forcing the TMDL rules. The "House" letter urges Democrats to show support for the President's action by signing the congratulatory letter to him.

So that you may know who your friends are the signers to date are Bonior (D-Mich.), Oberstar (D-Minn.), Borski (D-Pa.) Holt (D-N.J.), Pallone (D-N.J.), Hoeffel (D-Pa.).

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