Washington, DC - Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman Bob Gibbs (R-OH) today wrote to the Administration to request information about the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) violation of law and illegal use of the taxpayers’ money in promoting its recent Waters of the United States rule.

Shuster and Gibbs wrote to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan following a United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) legal opinion that EPA’s actions violated the law, including the prohibition on grassroots lobbying and engaging in covert propaganda.

Shuster and Gibbs asked OMB whether EPA has reported the violation, as required by the Antideficiency Act; how many resources, including taxpayer dollars and full-time equivalents, EPA devoted to illegal activities; and what internal action has been taken to ensure EPA does not violate the law again.

“This WOTUS rule has been rammed down the throats of states, local governments, the farming and business communities, and private citizens,” Shuster said. “It was bad enough that EPA flouted the rulemaking process from the beginning and concocted this burdensome regulation on its own, with no regard for the costs and impacts it will have on Americans across the country. The fact that the agency broke the law in its efforts to push through its expansionist agenda demands answers.”

“The revelation by the Government Accountability Office that illegal methods were used to promote their Waters of the United States rule is alarming and deserves further scrutiny,” Gibbs said. “That’s why Chairman Shuster and I are asking the Office of Management and Budget to investigate this matter further. This important issue goes to the very heart of the rulemaking process. By using ‘covert propaganda’ and working with outside groups to skew the public comments in their favor, the Environmental Protection Agency has damaged the integrity of the rule making process, their obligation to Congress, and their trust in the American people.”