PNW House Members Vote To Repeal WOTUS
The U.S. House voted last week to repeal, on a largely symbolic 227-198 vote, the EPA’s controversial WOTUS rule. The Senate could follow suit as soon as this week. Democrats argued clean water is a human right that will suffer with the GOP’s move. However nine Democrats, including Washington Rick Larsen, backed the repeal of the Administration’s WOTUS rule.
“House Democrats believe we can protect clean water while providing certainty to businesses, to farmers, and to Americans who depend upon clean water for their lives and livelihoods,” Larsen said from the House floor last week.
But Republicans like Ag Chairman Glenn Thompson dismissed that argument.
“This rule isn’t about clean water. It’s about the Biden EPA’s appetite for power. America’s farmers, ranchers, and landowners deserve a WOTUS definition that is fair to agriculture and maintains the historical reach of the Clean Water Act, neither of which is accomplished by the Biden Administration’s flawed rule.”
Which, Thompson pointed out, undid the Trump Navigable Waters Protection Rule.
Many Northwest lawmakers voiced their thoughts on WOTUS after last week’s vote
“President Biden’s efforts to expand the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, one of the most burdensome EPA rules in recent memory, would have devastating consequences for rural communities,” said eastern Washington's Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “In today’s struggling economy, the agriculture community in Eastern Washington and across the nation can’t afford any more uncertainty. They need relief, and I was proud to join my colleagues in passing this resolution to provide it.”
“WOTUS is nothing more than a power grab which would impose tighter controls over waters the Clean Water Act never intended to regulate," said central Washington's Dan Newhouse. "Rural communities in the West and across the country are dedicated to clean water and they are the ones being punished by the continued legal uncertainty this new final rule promulgates. While I am disappointed in this administration’s dismissal of our rural communities, I will never stop fighting for them,” said Rep. Newhouse. “I urge the Senate to join us in passing this resolution to push back on this administration’s egregious overreach and fight for our food supply, our private property rights, and our country.”
“Farmers and ranchers in the 5th District don’t need D.C. bureaucrats telling them how to operate – they need a consistent regulatory environment so they can plan and make decisions from season to season," said central Oregon’s Lori Chavez-DeRemer. "That’s why I’m helping lead the charge to halt the EPA’s proposed WOTUS rule, which would enable federal agencies to implement sudden, costly, and overbearing regulations on rural Oregonians and even state and local governments. I’m glad it passed the House today with bipartisan support and hope the Senate will act soon."
Senate Republicans claim to have the votes to pass the same WOTUS repeal resolution, though President Biden said he’ll veto the legislation.
Click Here to last week's propsed legislation.