Western Caucus Celebrates Unanimous WOTUS Decision

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously sided with the Sacketts in the Sackett v. EPA case, delivering a resounding blow to the Biden Administration’s push to erode private property rights with its “Waters of the United States” or WOTUS rule.

See what Western Caucus Members had to say:

“This is a huge win for landowners and farmers. The Supreme Court rightly interpreted the clear language of the Clean Water Act, returning power from the bureaucrats at EPA to Congress to create laws constitutionally. Executive rule making doesn’t get to reinterpret Congress’s clear text to invent rules so they can unilaterally control land and people,” said Executive Vice Chair Doug LaMalfa (CA-01). “I am happy the Supreme Court continues to look to the plain text of laws rather than the creative whims of bureaucrats. It’s a shame that Americans must go to court to restrain the whims of big government.”

“The Supreme Court’s ruling is great news for rural America, by reining in the overreaching WOTUS rule, the Sackett decision will benefit America’s farmers, small businesses, miners and property owners, I've been working on this issue on behalf of rural Minnesota for quite some time and am very pleased with this unanimous decision,” said Vice Chair Pete Stauber (MN-08). “It’s clear that the Biden Administration should withdraw their WOTUS rule, we cannot allow unaccountable bureaucrats to make important decisions that negatively impact the American people.”

“The Sackett decision is a huge win for our nation's farmers, who should not suffer at the hands of unelected bureaucrats regulating every pond, ditch, and drop of water in America,” said Vice Chair Tom Tiffany (WI-07). “Now, it’s time for the Biden administration to stop targeting farmers with endless red tape and repeal their flawed WOTUS rule.”

“This ruling is a win for farmers, ranchers, and all of rural America,” said Vice Chair Adrian Smith (NE-03). “The Biden administration’s WOTUS rule would devastate communities, hardworking families, and small business owners across Nebraska – which would inevitably lead to even higher costs for consumers. Now that the Supreme Court has issued its unanimous decision, President Biden should immediately withdraw the administration’s proposed rule.”

“This SCOTUS ruling is a victory for common sense land management and another steppingstone in overturning the burdensome WOTUS rule,” Vice Chair Doug Lamborn (CO-05).

“This is a major victory for private property rights, rural America, farmers, and homeowners,” said Vice Chair Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01).

"This is a significant win as it counters the Biden Administration's aggressive overregulation," said Vice Chair Andy Biggs (AZ-05). "SCOTUS rightfully preserved the private property rights and freedoms of millions of Americans with its decision."

“The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of rural Americans and freedom by ruling against President Biden’s burdensome WOTUS rule,” said Vice Chair Debbie Lesko (AZ-08). “Americans know how to steward their land best, not the federal government!”

“Minnesotans have a long history of protecting the waters in our state,” said Vice Chair Michelle Fischbach (MN-07). “This Supreme Court ruling provides certainty for farmers that the water seasonally flooding their fields will not become regulated by the federal government, it will also eliminate costly and time-consuming duplicative paperwork, allowing housing, energy, and infrastructure projects to move forward more efficiently, all while ensuring that the state of Minnesota can continue its proud tradition of protecting our waters.” 

“The Sackett v. EPA decision is a huge win for farmers, ranchers, property owners, and frankly, all rural America, today, the highest court affirmed that the Biden Administration’s costly and overbearing attempt to expand the role of the federal government into the property rights of hardworking Americans through its WOTUS regulations was unlawful, I applaud the court’s decision, now that we know how WOTUS should and should not be implemented, it’s time for the Biden Administration to rescind its latest proposed rule once and for all, and go back to the drawing board to have a rule that makes sense for Americans and fully comports with the law,” said Vice Chair Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “Both the Obama and Biden Administrations exceeded their authority on WOTUS and it’s been an issue I’ve worked on since going to Congress, thankfully, the Supreme Court was a backstop on this overreaching rule, we should go back to the Trump Administration rule, which was in line with legislative authority and the Supreme Court’s decision today.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision against WOTUS is a victory for rural Californians, and for all of our communities that have long fought to maintain local control of our precious water supply,” said Vice Chair Jay Obernolte (CA-23). “Water is a limited resource in California, and it is vital that our farmers, ranchers, producers, and local communities maintain the rights to the water they need to sustain our community and our economy.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision is clearly a decisive win for America’s farmers, small businesses, property owners, and those who help build our infrastructure, as we said all along, the Biden Administration should have waited on Sackett, knowing how much of an impact the decision could have on their costly, burdensome, and overreaching WOTUS rule,” said Rep. David Rouzer (NC-07) alongside T&I Committee Chairman, Rep. Sam Graves (MO-06). “The Supreme Court rightly recognizes that the significant nexus test, which underpinned the Biden rule, is an improper reading of the Clean Water Act, the only reasonable step for the Administration to take now is to withdraw its ill-advised rule.”

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court is a win for Oklahoma’s farmers, ranchers, landowners, and all of rural America, beginning with the Obama Administration and resurrected by President Biden, Washington Democrats have attempted to expand the role of the federal government under the Clean Water Act and erode the private property rights of Americans, today’s unanimous decision by the Supreme Court to define wetlands regulated by the Clean Water Act takes a step towards clarity, regulatory certainty, and allowing landowners to continue to be their own responsible steward of their land,” said Rep. Frank Lucas (OK-03). “Now that the Court has ruled in conflict with the Administration’s rule, the Biden Administration must immediately rescind its burdensome proposed rule.”

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling on Sackett v. EPA is a win for America’s farmers and rural landowners,” said Rep. Brad Finstad (MN-01). “For too long, this administration has weaponized the Clean Water Act to overburden property owners with unnecessary regulations on every stream, puddle, and creek on their land, I’m glad to see the Supreme Court rule in favor of property owners today, and return to a practical, commonsense implementation of the Clean Water Act, as Congress originally intended.”

"Today's unanimous ruling in Sackett v EPA is a victory for America's farmers, ranchers, and land owners, the decision reaffirms the rights of property owners and provides long-needed clarity to rural America,” said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA-15). “In light of this decision, the Biden Administration should withdraw its flawed final WOTUS rule, it is time to finally put an end to the regulatory whiplash and create a workable rule that promotes clean water while protecting the rights of rural Americans."

“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a big win for farmers, ranchers, and producers,” said Rep. Tracey Mann (KS-01). “This unanimous ruling will protect landowners' rights and limit government overreach under President Biden's Waters of the U.S. rule, President Biden vetoed the WOTUS legislation sent to him by Congress last month, now that both the legislative and judicial branches have spoken clearly on the EPA’s overreaching use of the Clean Water Act, it’s up to the Biden Administration to reverse course on their unconstitutional and misguided rule, today was a good day for Americans – government shrunk and freedom expanded.”

“Today is a great day for Wyoming, a great day for private property rights, and a great day for farmers and ranchers, it is, however, a sad day for unelected bureaucrats who think they should be able to dictate how we use our land and water, in the case of Sackett v. EPA, the Supreme Court finally clarified that the term ‘navigable’ means what it says and says what it means, the EPA only has jurisdiction over navigable waters of the United States, not non-navigable wetlands, drainage ditches, and small ponds on private property,” said Rep. Harriet Hageman (WY-AL). “The feds had clearly exceeded their authority under WOTUS and had expanded on the original law by redefining what is a “navigable body of water,” rescinding changes made to WOTUS under the Trump administration, and increasing regulation of waters that would not be navigable under any circumstances, these new and punitive regulations were a de facto taking of private property, liberty, freedom, and the rule of law were vindicated by today’s court opinion.”

“The Supreme Court’s decision to rein in the EPA’s overreach is a win for North Dakota’s farmers and ranchers, for years, the threat of WOTUS has hung over the heads of our ag producers,” said Rep. Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL). “It would violate private property rights and add more layers of red tape, The Biden administration needs to immediately rescind its proposed WOTUS rule so we can get back to policies that help producers feed and fuel the world.”

"Today's Supreme Court ruling against the burdensome Waters of the U.S. is a victory for Kansas farmers, ranchers, producers and all Americans," said Rep. Ron Estes (KS-04). "President Biden's plan to regulate every pond and puddle across the country was a gross abuse of power, and the Supreme Court unanimously agreed and upheld the Constitution, Kansans are best positioned to conserve our land and natural resources, and they don't need Biden's bureaucrats 1000 miles away to regulate the rainwater that accumulates in ditches in rural parts of our state."

“Today, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in Sackett V. EPA, rolling back an egregious overreach by multiple Democrat administrations under the Clean Water Act, under the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, the EPA was able to regulate every ditch, stream, or puddle in this country,” said Rep. Greg Murphy (NC-03). “Whether a farmer trying to install a new irrigation system, a homeowner trying to renovate a house, or a small business with expansion plans, all would be under the thumb of the EPA, the Supreme Court today has ruled in favor of the American people and our freedom – getting us out from the EPA – and I hope that the Biden administration will immediately rescind its proposed unconstitutional rule.”

“The Supreme Court's decision to reject the EPA’s expanded definition of WOTUS and uphold the rights of the Sackett family to build their home on their own property stands as a powerful affirmation of individual property rights,” said Rep. Russ Fulcher (ID-01). “For Idahoans, water is a lifeline and local control has a long, proud tradition, I commend the Court's recognition of the Sacketts’ constitutional rights and the significance of protecting Idaho’s ranchers, farmers, irrigators, and landowners from regulatory overreach.”

“President Biden’s expansion of WOTUS has perpetrated uncertainty and confusion for landowners and job creators across the country, today’s ruling from the Supreme Court provides welcome relief for America’s farmers, ranchers, businesses, and many others who have been burdened repeatedly with aggressive WOTUS overreach,” said Rep. Mike Flood (NE-01). “This isn’t over yet, we’ll keep pushing back against activists and fighting to ensure that Americans have consistent and commonsense application of the Clean Water Act that respects the rights of states and private property owners.”

“Thousands of farmers and small businesses in my district are breathing a sigh of relief today thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling that delivers long overdue clarity to the EPA’s authority to regulate ‘waters of the United States’ under the Clean Water Act, both the Obama and Biden Administrations sought to weaponize the Clean Water Act, particularly through their WOTUS rules, to implement burdensome regulations on landowners stretching far beyond their legal authority,” said Rep. Dan Meuser (PA-09). “In particular, the Biden Administration’s proposed WOTUS rule would lead to every ditch, stream, and puddle on farmers’ and other private citizens’ properties being regulated under the Clean Water Act, even miles away from the nearest navigable water, I continue to urge the Biden administration to withdraw their disastrous WOTUS rule, especially following the Supreme Court’s decision.”

“Today’s announcement from the Supreme Court is an enormous win for rural America and small businesses, the Biden Administration’s expansion of WOTUS rules and murky definition of ‘navigable waters’ have created significant confusion and hardship for many Americans, this administration’s definition has become so overarching that runoff from a large rainstorm could fall under this category and be subject to WOTUS laws,” said Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-03). “I’m so pleased to see that the highest court in the land has ruled in favor of common sense, Missouri families, farmers, homebuilders, manufacturers, and small businesses shouldn’t have to hire a team of lawyers or engineers just to make changes to their own land, today’s ruling confirms that.”

“For years, WOTUS has been used as a political football for Administrations to advance their climate agenda and it’s caused uncertainty and stress for farmers and ranchers,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson (SD-AL). “Today’s SCOTUS ruling on Sackett v. EPA is a huge win for rural America, navigable waters cannot include every small puddle, stream, and ditch, I’m glad our agricultural producers will finally have some certainty, I’ll continue working with my colleagues in Congress to prevent the Biden Administration from placing overly burdensome regulations on our producers.”

 “The Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Sackett v. EPA is a resounding victory for America’s farmers, ranchers, and landowners,” said Rep. Jim Baird (IN-04). “For far too long, rural America has been plagued by this administration’s harmfully ambiguous WOTUS rule, and I’m grateful they are finally getting the regulatory certainty they deserve.”

“The SCOTUS decision in Sackett v. EPA is a victory for rural America, the EPA’s WOTUS, which is about as clear as mud - by the way, under the WOTUS rule, does a muddy puddle count as water? - is nothing but a regulatory burden,” said Rep. Don Bacon (NE-02). “Today, the Supreme Court helped cut through the bureaucratic red tape that hurts farmers and ranchers.”

“Today, SCOTUS sided with our farmers and ranchers, who rely on clear and reasonable regulatory guidance from government agencies, by protecting them from the EPA’s weaponization of the Clean Water Act,” said Rep. Austin Scott (GA-08). “Now it’s time for Biden’s EPA to rescind their flawed WOTUS rule.“

“Today’s unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court striking down the EPA’s bizarre Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) Rule under the Clean Water Act (CWA) is a win for the Constitution, farmers and private landowners who have suffered from years of unnecessary litigation, for over a decade, leftist agitators at the EPA have made the false claim that every drop of water in the United States is subject to control by the federal government, environmental radicals and climate alarmists claimed that even a pond in someone’s private backyard is subject to federal control, indeed, they made this claim against the Sacketts and threatened to put them in jail and fine them $40,000 per day because they made some improvements to their own backyard pond,” said Rep. Paul Gosar (AZ-09). “I have been fighting against the ridiculous EPA WOTUS rule since 2014, as past-Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, I led the fight against WOTUS from 2016 to 2020, I worked with President Trump, who wisely paused this WOTUS rule, only to see Mr. Biden recklessly pursue it, the Court has prudently struck down this egregious rule that has harmed Americans for years while bluntly taking the EPA to task for the magnitude of its overreach.”

“Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled against the Biden administration’s WOTUS rule and the EPA’s massive, unconstitutional power grab,” said Rep. Brian Babin (TX-36). “This is a huge win for America’s farmers!”

“Today's unanimous SCOTUS ruling is an incredible win for farmers, ranchers, land owners, and the energy industry, WOTUS has been abused by the federal government for too long,” said Rep. August Pfluger (TX-11). “I'm proud to have stood up against WOTUS and am pleased that rural America will no longer suffer from this regulatory uncertainty.”

“President Biden’s WOTUS rule is an unconstitutional power grab and an attack on American landowners’ private property rights,” said Rep. Josh Brecheen (OK-02). “This Supreme Court ruling is a huge victory for farmers and ranchers in Oklahoma and across the country who do not need the federal government telling them how to best manage their land.” 

“For far too long, the EPA and federal government have used the Clean Water Act as a bludgeon against hardworking farmers and ranchers,” said Rep. Ken Buck (CO-04). “This unanimous decision by the Supreme Court is a win for rural Americans and landowners who don’t need every puddle in eastern Colorado regulated and controlled by bureaucrats in Washington D.C.”

“The unanimous decision from the Supreme Court on the Biden administration’s WOTUS rule is a major win for Central Valley families, farmers, and communities,” said Rep. David Valadao (CA-22). “This ruling puts an end to the regulatory uncertainty surrounding the federal government’s overreach on our waterways.”

“Once again, the Biden Administration and their throngs of radical regulators have been found to be in violation of their powers,” said Rep. Beth Van Duyne (TX-24). “This is a huge win for the rule of law, land owners, and freedom from Biden’s hordes of tyrannical bureaucrats.”

"Today's ruling is a resounding victory for rural America," said Rep. Barry Moore (AL-02). "Sackett v. EPA affirms the property rights of farmers, ranchers, foresters and landowners, in the wake of this ruling, I call on the Biden Administration to immediately rescind its unconstitutional proposed WOTUS rule."


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