2012 Scorecard Vote
Senator Mike Johanns (R-NE) offered an amendment to S. 3240, the Senate Farm Bill titled the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012, that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from efficiently and effectively monitoring for Clean Water Act violations at industrial-scale livestock operations via aircraft. This tool is primarily used to observe large animal feeding operations, where manure spills into water bodies are easily identifiable from the air. These flyover inspections are conducted in small planes and have been done for nearly a decade as a cost-effective alternative to on-site inspections, and Congress does not restrict how the EPA monitors any other industries. The EPA has a responsibility under the law to monitor for this kind of pollution and should not be prohibited from doing so through a reliable means that saves significant taxpayer dollars. On June 21, the Senate rejected the Johanns amendment by a vote of 56-43 (60 votes were needed for passage; Senate roll call vote 159). NO IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE.