WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) joined a bipartisan group of Senators in challenging the Biden administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval. The resolution passed 53-43.
The resolution comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a new rule in December 2022 repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), and changing the definition of Waters of the United States in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.
“Kentucky’s farmers and agricultural industry suffered when the Obama administration implemented its burdensome WOTUS rule, and now the Biden administration has chosen to follow in their footsteps by appeasing the far left’s priorities over the economic well-being of those across America,” said Dr. Paul. “I’m proud to continue my efforts to protect our farmers and agricultural industry from this overreaching power grab by the Biden administration.”
Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO-06) introduced an identical resolution in the House.
BACKGROUND ON WOTUS, NWPR:
In 2015, the Obama administration finalized a rule that expanded the definition of WOTUS, creating confusion and burdensome red tape, especially for Kentucky’s agriculture, construction, and coal industries.
The Trump administration released a proposed rule to replace the 2015 WOTUS rule with a new one that provided much-needed predictability and certainty for farmers by establishing clear and reasonable definitions of what qualifies as a “water of the United States.” The NWPR was finalized in 2020.
On day one of his administration, President Biden signed an executive order to begin the process of rolling back the Trump administration’s NWPR.
In December 2022, the EPA issued a new rule repealing the NWPR and changing the definition of WOTUS in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.