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Sens. Moran, Marshall Vote to Overturn Biden Administration’s Overreaching WOTUS Rule

Senate passes formal challenge of administration’s Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule, sending it to the President’s desk

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-Kan.) this week joined their Senate colleagues in voting to pass a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval that overturns President Biden’s overreaching Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The Senate passed the CRA by a vote of 53-43.

Sens. Moran and Marshall joined a group of their colleagues in introducing the resolution in February 2023 after the Biden administration announced a new rule in December 2022 repealing the repealing the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR), and changing the definition of Waters of the United States in a way that will significantly expand federal regulatory authority.

“Kansans do not need more complicated federal rules telling farmers and ranchers how to use the rivers and creeks on their land,” said Sen. Moran. “I am pleased the Senate took action to challenge these harmful and unnecessary regulations on Kansas landowners and small businesses, and I am hopeful that President Biden will sign this resolution of disapproval.”

“The Biden Administration’s failure to understand the ramifications of its WOTUS rule is alarming,” said Sen. Marshall. “As members of Congress, we must ensure agricultural producers and other stakeholders have the regulatory certainty to take care of our nation’s land and water resources.”

The U.S. House of Representatives previously approved the measure on March 9, led by Representative Sam Graves (R-Mo.-06). The resolution now heads to the President’s desk.

Full text of the resolution can be found HERE.

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 Kansas farmers and ranchers.
  • 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 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a new rule repealing the NEPR and changing the definition of WOTUS in a way that will expand federal regulatory authority.

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