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House Passes Rouzer Legislation to Overturn Flawed, Overreaching Biden WOTUS Rule

  • 2022.02.01 T&I Hearing

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, H.J. Res. 27, Congressman David Rouzer's (NC-07) legislation to overturn the Biden Administration’s flawed, burdensome “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule, was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 227-198.  The Biden rule would lead to sweeping changes to the federal government’s authority to regulate what is considered a navigable water, with enormous impacts on small businesses, manufacturers, farmers, home and infrastructure builders, local communities, water districts, and private property owners.

The resolution was introduced on February 2nd by Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves, and was cosponsored by 170 Members of Congress.  An identical resolution was introduced in the Senate by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and was cosponsored by all 49 Senate Republicans.  The resolution was approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on February 28th.

“I’m proud my colleagues in the House joined me today in passing legislation to rescind the Biden Administration’s flawed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.  Their new rule is a nuclear warhead aimed squarely at our farm families, small businesses, homebuilders, every property owner, and entire communities because of its overreaching definition. 

"Once the federal government gains control of your land as a result of the ambiguity and subjectivity of what defines a “navigable water”, any alteration to one’s property could easily — and will likely — be regulated by the federal government. This includes everyday tasks like applying herbicides or insecticides to the mere building of a fence or a shed.

"The Rule makes every landowner susceptible to prosecution for taking actions on their property that are later viewed to have been a violation of the Clean Water Act.  Land in areas like North Carolina’s Seventh District where storms can bring heavy rain and water often lingers for short periods of time could easily be classified as a “wetland” depending on the viewpoint of the bureaucrat making the judgment.

"This overreaching WOTUS rule will significantly curtail investment, innovation, and productivity at the very time it is sorely needed to get out from behind the eight-ball of inflation.  Cloaked under the guise of clean water, all this rule does is expand the federal government’s control over states, localities, and private landowners, making it harder to farm, build, and generate economic prosperity.  I encourage the Senate to pass this commonsense resolution to push back against onerous rules like this one," said Rouzer.

“American families, farmers, small businesses, and entire communities are suffering under the economic crises caused by the disastrous Biden policies of the last two years.  The last thing they need is this Administration’s inexplicable decision to move the country back toward the overreaching, costly, and burdensome regulations of the past, which is exactly what this WOTUS rule does,” said Graves.  “I now look forward to continuing to work with our leadership, our committee colleagues, Senator Capito, and all opponents of this unnecessary rule to ensure our legislation is sent to the President’s desk.”

The full text of the resolution can be found here.

Click here to watch Rep. Rouzer's Floor speech in support of H.J. Res. 27.