Senate vote against Biden water rule likely this week

The move could draw support from moderate Democrats in a strike at the president's signature water policy.

March 14, 2023

The Capitol Hill battle over the Biden administration's most significant water regulation could come to a head this week.

Senators are moving closer to taking up a resolution of disapproval striking at President Joe Biden's waters of the United States, or WOTUS, rule that lays out which water bodies merit federal protection.

Republican sponsors are likely to have some success, with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) already on the record as supporting the measure. Another ally could come in the form of Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), who has been concerned about the rule's implications for rural communities.


Other Democrats have taken an aggressive tone in defending the rule, which largely restores Reagan-era protections for wetlands and waterways. They argued using the CRA would do more harm than good by preventing agencies from issuing a similar rule in the future.

During a committee markup, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) called the Congressional Review Act "a blunt instrument" that "freezes the field." Moving forward with the action, he warned, "would take us back potentially 50 years."

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), who chairs Environment and Public Works Committee, has commended the Biden administration for the rule and said he hopes it will be "durable, unlike those from previous administrations."


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By:  E.A. Crunden
Source: E&E Daily