The House of Representatives voted 227-198 Thursday to overturn the Biden administration’s “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, which has been heavily criticized for broadening the definition of what are considered “navigable waters” subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act.
Republicans say the rule places a costly burden on landowners, ranchers, and farmers by claiming regulatory control over lands containing small streams and wetlands. All but one Republican, Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, voted to overturn the rule, with nine Democrats joining.
The House just passed my legislation to protect Americans from government overreach.
Biden’s WOTUS rule is a nuclear warhead aimed squarely at our farm families, small businesses, homebuilders, every property owner, & entire communities because of its overreaching definition. pic.twitter.com/0oaBPaVn5F
— David Rouzer (@RepDavidRouzer) March 9, 2023
The resolution was introduced early February and co-sponsored by 170 members of Congress.
“President Biden’s new WOTUS rule is a nuclear warhead aimed squarely at our farm families, small businesses, homebuilders, every property owner, and entire communities because of its overreaching definition,” Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer said in a statement.
“Cloaked under the guise of clean water, all this rule does is expand the federal government’s control over states, localities, and private landowners, making it harder to farm, build, and generate economic prosperity,” he said. “I encourage the Senate to pass this commonsense resolution to push back against onerous rules like this one.”
In February, twenty-four Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to challenge the rule. The Supreme Court is also considering a case that could overturn the rule, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, which was brought by a couple told by the EPA that they cannot build a house on their own land because it contains wetlands.
“When Congressman Graves and I introduced resolutions of disapproval in the both the Senate and House, we wanted to show Congress is united in defending millions of Americans from President Biden’s overreaching navigable waters rule,” Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republican West Virginia Sen. Shelley Moore Capito said in a statement. “I commend the House for taking an important step today to overturn the Biden WOTUS rule, and look forward to leading my Senate colleagues in sending it to the president’s desk.”
The EPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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