Thursday’s House of Representatives vote 227 to 198 to repeal the Biden administration’s “waters of United States” (WOTUS rule). This rule has been heavily criticised for expanding the definition of “navigable water” that is subject to federal regulation under Clean Water Act.
Republicans claim the rule is a burden on farmers, ranchers, landowners and ranchers by requiring regulatory control over small streams and wetlands. The rule was overturned by all but one Republican, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. Nine Democrats joined him in voting against it.
The resolution was introduced in February by 170 members and was co-sponsored.
“President Biden’s new WOTUS Rule is a nuclear weapon aimed squarely towards our farm families and small businesses, homebuilders and every property owner because of its overreaching scope,” Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer stated in a statement.
He said that the rule was cloaked in the pretense of clean water and only expands the federal government’s power over states, localities and private landowners. This makes it more difficult to farm, build and generate economic prosperity. I urge the Senate to adopt this commonsense resolution and fight against such burdensome rules.
Twenty-four Republican state attorneys general filed a suit against the Environmental Protection Agency to challenge the rule in February. Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency is also being considered by the Supreme Court. This case was brought by a couple who were told by the EPA they could not build a house on their land due to its wetlands.
“When Congressman Graves and me introduced resolutions in disapproval in both the Senate and Houses, we wanted Congress to show Congress is united and defend millions of Americans from President Biden’s overreaching navigable water rule,” said Shelley Moore Capito, Ranking Member of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republican West Virginia Senator. “I commend Congressman Graves for taking today’s important step to repeal the Biden WOTUS ruling and look forward leading my Senate colleagues as they send it to the President.”
The EPA did no immediate respond to a request to comment.