Chairman Newhouse, 195 House Republicans Blast Biden Administration for WOTUS Rule

Washington, January 26, 2023 | Amanda Fitzmorris (202-317-0098)

WASHNGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressional Western Caucus Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04), Reps. Mike Bost (IL-12) and David Rouzer (NC-07), and Congressional Western Caucus Vice Chair Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01) led 192 other House Republicans in a letter blasting the Biden Administration for its premature and reckless “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) final rule.
The Members demand the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers rescind the rule and postpone any subsequent agency action on WOTUS to allow the Supreme Court to issue an opinion on Sackett v EPA.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, WOTUS is the most egregious federal overreach this nation has ever faced,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “Every farmer, rancher, or property owner who moves dirt will be harmed by this rule. This letter emphasizes House Republicans’ commitment to fighting back against this overreach and representing the voices of our constituents who are united against this rulemaking.”

“Farmers, landowners, and job creators depend on clear, consistent, and manageable regulatory guidance,” said Rep. Mike Bost (IL-12). “This would be the fourth time in eight years they’ve been forced to change course to avoid criminal penalties and financial hardship as WOTUS is continually redefined. There is absolutely no reason to burden them with additional regulations simply to appease liberal Green New Deal special interests. The EPA and Army Corps should rescind this definition immediately and give Americans the certainty they need.”

“The Biden Administration’s new WOTUS rule is both poor policy and badly timed. It will once again place overly burdensome regulations on our farm families, small businesses, infrastructure projects, and entire communities – further harming our economy as well as delaying and, in some cases, likely terminating important infrastructure projects,” said Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07). “Furthermore, it is ill-advised for the Administration to rush a new rule given the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision on Sackett v. EPA will impact any new definition of WOTUS, ultimately creating even more confusion and uncertainty.”

“The Biden administration’s ‘improved’ WOTUS rule is anything but, and it will have drastic consequences for farmers, producers, and landowners in Iowa and across the country,” said Vice Chair Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01). “These burdensome regulations are unnecessary, confusing, and will ultimately result in delays or cancellations of new infrastructure projects. Any clean water initiatives by the federal government should be focused on clearly defined bodies of water—not privately owned land.”

Click here to read the full letter.

The 196 Members who signed the letter are: Reps. Aderholt, Alford, Allen, Amodei, Armstrong, Arrington, Babin, Bacon, Baird, Balderson, Banks, Barr, Bean, Bentz, Bergman, Bice, Biggs, Bilirakis, Bishop (NC), Boebert, Bost, Buck, Bucshon, Burchett, Burgess, Burlison, Calvert, Cammack, Carey, Carl, Carter (GA), Chavez-DeRemer, Ciscomani, Cline, Cloud, Clyde, Cole, Collins (GA), Comer, Crane, Crawford, Crenshaw, Curtis, D’Esposito, Davidson, De La Cruz, DesJarlais, Diaz-Balart, Donalds, Duarte, Duncan, Edwards, Ellzey, Emmer, Estes, Ezell, Fallon, Feenstra, Ferguson, Finstad, Fischbach, Fitzgerald, Fleischmann, Flood, Foxx, Franklin, Fry, Fulcher, Gaetz, Garcia, Gonzales, González-Colón, Gooden, Granger, Graves (LA), Graves (MO), Green (TN), Griffith, Grothman, Guest, Guthrie, Hageman, Harshbarger, Hern, Higgins, Hill, Hinson, Houchin, Hudson, Huizenga, Hunt, Issa, Jackson (TX), Johnson (LA), Johnson (OH), Johnson (SD), Jordan, Joyce (OH), Joyce (PA), Kelly (MS), Kelly (PA), Kiggans, Kiley, Kim, Kustoff, LaHood, LaMalfa, Lamborn, Langworthy, Latta, LaTurner, Lee, Lesko, Letlow, Loudermilk, Lucas, Luetkemeyer, Mace, Mann, McCaul, McClain, McClintock, McMorris Rodgers, Meuser, Miller (IL), Miller (OH), Miller (WV), Mills, Miller-Meeks, Molinaro, Moolenaar, Mooney, Moore (AL), Moore (UT), Moran, Moylan, Murphy, Nehls, Newhouse, Norman, Nunn, Obernolte, Ogles, Owens, Palmer, Pence, Perry, Pfluger, Posey, Radewagen, Reschenthaler, Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rose, Rosendale, Rouzer, Rutherford, Salazar, Santos, Schweikert, Scott, Self, Sessions, Simpson, Smith (MO), Smith (NE), Smucker, Stauber, Steel, Stefanik, Steil, Steube, Stewart, Strong, Tenney, Thompson (PA), Tiffany, Timmons, Turner, Valadao, Van Drew, Van Duyne, Van Orden, Wagner, Walberg, Waltz, Weber, Webster, Wenstrup, Westerman, Williams (NY), Williams (TX), Wittman, Womack, Yakym, and Zinke. 

On December 30, 2022, Chairman Newhouse and 22 Members of the Congressional Western Caucus spoke out against the Biden Administration releasing a final WOTUS rule—on the last business day of the year—before the Supreme Court has decided Sackett v. EPA.

In April 2022, Chairman Newhouse, Rep. Miller-Meeks, and Rep. Rodney Davis (IL-13) submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court for Sackett v. EPA outlining the importance of environmental federalism and how a poorly-defined Clean Water Act hinders environmental protections.

On March 9, 2022, Chairman Newhouse, Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves (MO-06), and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Ranking Member David Rouzer (NC-07) led over 200 House Republicans – including every Member of the Western Caucus – in calling for the Biden Administration to drop its plan to expand the scope of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) until Sackett v. EPA is decided by the Supreme Court. Click here to learn more.
In January 2022, Chairman Newhouse and Rep. Miller-Meeks called on the Administration to halt the rulemaking process, based on the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the Sackett case.
Chairman Newhouse hosted Rep. Davis, Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert, and Charles Yates of the Pacific Legal Foundation, one of the contributing lawyers in the Sackett v. EPA case, to discuss the impacts WOTUS has on rural communities and potential implications of the Supreme Court decision. Click here to listen.
When the Biden Administration announced their intention to revise and remand the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule, Chairman Newhouse, Rep. Miller-Meeks, Senator Steve Daines (MT), and Senator Joni Ernst (IA) led Western Caucus Members in a bicameral letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan and Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jaime Pinkham to express their serious concerns and demand answers about the Administration’s plans to reopen the definition of “waters of the United States.” Click here to read the letter and learn more.
In November of 2021, Western Caucus Members from across the country issued statements in response to the Administration’s proposed rule. Click here to read more.


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