Press Releases

Chairmen Graves & Rouzer Introduce Legislation to Reverse Biden WOTUS Rule

Washington, D.C., February 2, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC) led 147 Members of Congress today in introducing a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on the Biden Administration’s flawed and burdensome “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule.  This rule will lead to sweeping changes to the federal government’s authority to regulate what is considered a navigable water, with enormous impacts on small businesses, manufacturers, farmers, home and infrastructure builders, local communities, water districts, and private property owners.

“As American families and businesses continue suffering under the economic crises caused by the disastrous Biden policies of the last two years, this Administration has inexplicably decided to move the country back toward the costly and burdensome WOTUS regulations of the past,” said Graves.  “In an unnecessary drain on federal resources, the Administration clumsily put forward its rule before the Supreme Court has issued a ruling in the Sackett case, which will affect and alter what the Administration has put forward.  Congress has the authority and responsibility to review onerous rules like this one handed down from the Executive Branch, and I hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join in this effort to preserve regulatory clarity and prevent overzealous, unnecessary, and broadly defined federal power.”

“The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule is both poor policy and badly timed,” said Rouzer.  “It will once again place overly burdensome regulations on farm families, small businesses, infrastructure projects, and entire communities – further harming our already struggling economy.  Rushing to issue a new rule despite the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision is not wise.  It will only create additional confusion and uncertainty.  This new EPA rule needs to be rescinded so that Americans across the country are protected from subjective regulatory overreach.  Utilization of the Congressional Review Act is the best and most appropriate way for the House to make its collective voice heard and push back.  I’m proud to lead my colleagues in Congress as we work to terminate onerous rules like this one.”

Click here to view the legislationClick here to view the list of all 147 cosponsors.

The House Joint Resolution introduced today, if enacted, would terminate the Biden WOTUS rulemaking utilizing the CRA, which provides a mechanism for Congress to overturn certain final agency actions.  An identical measure was also introduced in the Senate today by 49 Senators, led by Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

On January 18, 2023, the Environmental Protection Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the Administration’s long-expected WOTUS rule, which:

  • Voids the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a rule that had provided much-needed clarity and certainty for the regulated community throughout the Nation;
  • Reverts back to the Obama Administration’s era of greater uncertainty and expansive federal jurisdiction to regulate navigable waters under the Clean Water Act, including wetlands, ephemeral streams, and ditches; 
  • Moves the federal government towards a regulatory regime under which agency bureaucrats decide what is regulated, rather than working with those who will be affected, at a time when the Supreme Court has yet to issue an opinion on a pending WOTUS case (Sackett) that will directly impact the rule.

    More information on previous actions by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Republican leaders on the WOTUS issue is available here.

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