The Biden administration's contentious "Waters of the United States" (WOTUS) rule, which expands the scope of "navigable waters" regulated by the Clean Water Act, was overturned by the House of Representatives on Thursday with a 227-198 vote. This rule has been widely criticized by conservatives for its expansive definition.
🚨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
Republicans have vehemently opposed the WOTUS rule, asserting that it unfairly and expensively burdens landowners, ranchers, and farmers by extending regulatory control to areas that contain small streams and wetlands. With the exception of Pennsylvania Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, every Republican voted to repeal the rule, and nine Democrats joined them in supporting the move.
House Votes To Overturn ‘Overreaching’ Biden Water Rule https://t.co/XPLvsdPEjM
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 10, 2023
In early February, a resolution was presented to Congress and backed by 170 members, stating their opposition to the rule. David Rouzer, the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman, criticized the rule, stating that it was a "nuclear warhead" directed at farmers, small businesses, property owners, and communities due to its overreaching definition. Rouzer also expressed concern that the rule expanded the federal government's authority over states, localities, and private landowners, making it difficult to farm, build, and promote economic growth.
In February, a lawsuit was filed by twenty-four Republican state attorneys general against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to contest the rule. Additionally, the Supreme Court is currently reviewing a case, Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency, where a couple was informed by the EPA that they could not construct a residence on their property due to the presence of wetlands. This case could result in the rule being overturned.
Conservative legislators demonstrated substantial support for the resolution to abolish the WOTUS rule. Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia released a statement indicating that she aimed to exhibit Congress's solidarity in defending millions of Americans against President Biden's overreaching navigable waters rule. She expressed her satisfaction with the House's move to repeal the rule and expressed optimism that the Senate would soon follow suit.
The WOTUS rule is yet another example of the Biden administration’s overreaching agenda and its disregard for the rights of private landowners. This rule would have placed an unnecessary burden on farmers, ranchers, and other private citizens who are just trying to make an honest living. Fortunately, Republicans in Congress have come together to push back against this oppressive regulation and protect the rights of American citizens. It is now up to the Senate to follow suit and send this resolution to President Biden’s desk.