Western Caucus Members Back Legislation to Reverse the Biden Administration’s Disastrous WOTUS Rule

Washington, February 2, 2023 | Amanda Fitzmorris (202-317-0098)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Sam Graves (MO-06) and Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman and Western Caucus Member David Rouzer (NC-07) introduced a joint resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on the Biden Administration’s flawed and burdensome “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule with wide support from Congressional Western Caucus Members. This follows the letter Chairman Newhouse, along with 195 House Republicans—including the entire Western Caucus, sent to the Biden Administration urging them to rescind their premature and reckless rule. 

“As American families and businesses continue suffering under the economic crises caused by the disastrous Biden policies of the last two years, this Administration has inexplicably decided to move the country back toward the costly and burdensome WOTUS regulations of the past,” said Rep. Sam Graves (MO-06). “In an unnecessary drain on federal resources, the Administration clumsily put forward its rule before the Supreme Court has issued a ruling in the Sackett case, which will affect and alter what the Administration has put forward. Congress has the authority and responsibility to review onerous rules like this one handed down from the Executive Branch, and I hope our colleagues on both sides of the aisle will join in this effort to preserve regulatory clarity and prevent overzealous, unnecessary, and broadly defined federal power.”

“The Biden Administration’s WOTUS rule is both poor policy and badly timed,” said Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07). “It will once again place overly burdensome regulations on farm families, small businesses, infrastructure projects, and entire communities – further harming our already struggling economy. Rushing to issue a new rule despite the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision is not wise. It will only create additional confusion and uncertainty. This new EPA rule needs to be rescinded so that Americans across the country are protected from subjective regulatory overreach. Utilization of the Congressional Review Act is the best and most appropriate way for the House to make its collective voice heard and push back. I’m proud to lead my colleagues in Congress as we work to terminate onerous rules like this one.”

“Even if the Biden Administration’s WOTUS rulemaking would not spell disaster for every farmer, rancher, and property owner in this country—which it absolutely would, for them to release this rule before the Supreme Court issues its ruling on the Sackett case creates additional uncertainty for all industries nationwide,” said Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04). “I stand firm against these reckless actions and will continue to ensure the voices of our constituents who are united against this rulemaking are heard in the halls of Congress.”

“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, and I’m proud to co-sponsor this Congressional Review Act resolution to protect private landowners and future infrastructure projects. It’s encouraging to see so many of my colleagues stand against this clear overreach by the Biden administration.”

Click here to view the legislation.


The House Joint Resolution introduced today, if enacted, would terminate the Biden WOTUS rulemaking utilizing the CRA, which provides a mechanism for Congress to overturn certain final agency actions. An identical measure was also introduced in the Senate today by 49 Senators, led by Environment and Public Works Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

On January 18, 2023, the Environmental Protection Administration and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the Administration’s long-expected WOTUS rule, which:

  • Voids the 2020 Navigable Waters Protection Rule, a rule that had provided much-needed clarity and certainty for the regulated community throughout the Nation;
  • Reverts back to the Obama Administration’s era of greater uncertainty and expansive federal jurisdiction to regulate navigable waters under the Clean Water Act, including wetlands, ephemeral streams, and ditches;  
  • Moves the federal government towards a regulatory regime under which agency bureaucrats decide what is regulated, rather than working with those who will be affected, at a time when the Supreme Court has yet to issue an opinion on a pending WOTUS case (Sackett) that will directly impact the rule. 

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