Press Releases

Committee Approves Legislation to Reject Biden Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule, Streamline Energy Projects, and Other Measures

Washington, D.C., February 28, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
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Today, the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a joint resolution to overturn the Biden Administration’s new waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, a bill to promote the development of energy infrastructure and ensure water quality under Clean Water Act Section 401, a package of General Services Administration (GSA) resolutions that will save taxpayers over $382 million, and several other measures.  The Committee also passed its views and estimates on the budget and its authorization and oversight plan.

H.J. Res. 27 eases regulatory burdens for small businesses, manufacturers, farmers, home and infrastructure builders, local communities, water districts, and everyday Americans by invalidating the Biden Administration’s overreaching rule redefining “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) under the Clean Water Act.

“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 overreaching, costly, and burdensome WOTUS regulations of the past,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO).  “Congress has the authority and responsibility to review onerous rules like this one handed down from the Executive Branch, and I’m proud that our Committee voted to preserve regulatory clarity and prevent such overzealous, unnecessary, and broadly defined federal power.”

“With today’s committee action, the House has taken the first step necessary to rescind the Biden Administration’s flawed WOTUS rule.  This rule needs to be repealed so Americans across the country are protected from subjective regulatory overreach making it harder to farm, build and generate economic prosperity,” said Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC).  I will continue working with Chairman Sam Graves and my colleagues in Congress to make our collective voice heard and push back against onerous rules like this one that are ambiguous and subjective leading to unnecessary complication and litigation for hard-working Americans, our farm families, and property owners.”

H.R. 1152, the Water Quality Certification and Energy Projects Improvement Act of 2023, introduced by Reps. Rouzer and Garret Graves (R-LA), promotes the development of the Nation’s energy infrastructure by streamlining the permitting process under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and clarifying Section 401’s focus on water quality.

“This is important and needed legislation for improving the water quality certification process and preventing the Clean Water Act Section 401 process from being used to hijack and block important energy projects,” said Chairman Sam Graves

“I’m pleased the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has advanced my bill, the Water Quality Certification and Energy Project Improvement Act,” said Rouzer.  “The water quality certification process has been — and continues to be — weaponized by certain states to stifle important energy projects they oppose, particularly pipelines, for political reasons completely unrelated to water quality and outside the scope and intent of the Clean Water Act.  Providing clarity to the water quality certification process is sorely needed to put an end to this tortured abuse of the law.”

“Over the past several years, we have watched some governors misuse the Clean Water Act to block urgently-needed American interstate energy projects,” said Rep. Garret Graves.  “The result was greater reliance on Russian energy and unaffordable utility and fuel costs for Americans. This bill helps to cut through bureaucratic red tape and useless impediments – resulting in clean, affordable, and American energy.”

The Committee also approved:

  • H. Res. 152, Supporting the goals and ideals of “move over” laws;
  • H. Con. Res. 15, Authorizing the use of the Capitol Grounds for the National Peace Officers Memorial Service and the National Honor Guard and Pipe Band Exhibition;
  • H.R. 783, designating the “Helen Edwards Engineering Research Center”;
  • General Services Administration Capital Investment and Leasing Program Resolutions that, through avoided lease costs over the terms of the leases, will save over $382 million;
  • The Committee’s Authorization and Oversight Plan and the Fiscal Year 2024 Views and Estimates.

    More information about today’s action can be found here.