Sullivan, 52 other senators pass resolution overturning Biden WOTUS Rule

    WASHINGTON (KINY) - U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, and 52 of his Senate colleagues Thursday passed legislation, introduced by EPW Ranking Member Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), to overturn President Biden’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule.

    The House of Representatives previously approved the measure on Mar. 9, led by Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-Mo.), and it now goes to the President’s desk.

    “We have become a red tape nation,” said Senator Sullivan. “The United States once unleashed American ingenuity and grit to build structures on time and on budget that instilled national pride and made us an envy of the world. Now, basic infrastructure projects are delayed, sometimes for decades, and often permitted to death. In Alaska, with the federal government managing more than 60 percent of our lands, and with more wetlands than any other state, we are on the front line of these delays. The Biden Administration’s WOTUS Rule—which would greatly expand EPA’s reach over our state—will only make the process of building basic infrastructure projects longer and more expensive. I’m pleased to see that Republicans and a number of Democrats have come together in the House and Senate to reject these job-killing regulations. Once again, President Biden will have to choose a side: Does he stand with the hard-working men and women who built this country—our proud laborers, farmers, and ranchers—or will he use his veto to side with the Lower 48 radical environmentalists and coastal elites who pursue their dangerous extremist agenda regardless of the consequences to our state and our nation?”

    A CRA resolution of disapproval is afforded special procedures and will receive a vote on the Senate and House floor to nullify a rule. If a CRA joint resolution of disapproval is approved by a simple majority in both houses of Congress and signed by the President—or if Congress successfully overrides a presidential veto—the rule is invalidated.

    Below is a timeline of Sen. Sullivan’s work on the WOTUS Rule and streamlining federal regulations.

    •    On Apr. 6 and Apr. 8, 2015, Sen. Sullivan chaired Environment and Public Works Subcommittee field hearings in Anchorage and in Fairbanks on the impacts of the previously proposed WOTUS Rule on state and local governments and stakeholders.
    •    On Apr. 30, 2015, Sen. Sullivan, along with Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), introduced the bipartisan Federal Water Quality Protection Act (S. 1140) to direct the EPA and the Department of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) to issue a revised WOTUS Rule that protects navigable water from water pollution, while also protecting farmers, ranchers and private landowners.
    •    On May 19, 2015, Sen. Sullivan chaired a subcommittee legislative hearing on S.1140 The Federal Water Quality Protection Act. This bill would have withdrawn the WOTUS Rule and required EPA to more appropriately define what bodies are “Waters of the United States.”
    •    On Oct. 9, 2015, Sen. Sullivan issued a statement on the nationwide stay of the EPA’s previous WOTUS Rule.
    •    On Sep. 30, 2015, Sen. Sullivan chaired a subcommittee hearing titled “Oversight of the Army Corps of Engineers’ Participation in the Development of the New Regulatory Definition of ‘Waters of the United States.’”
    •    On May 24, 2016 Sen. Sullivan chaired a subcommittee hearing titled “Erosion of Exemptions and Expansion of Federal Control –Implementation of the Definition of Waters of the United States.”
    •    On Feb. 28, 2017, Sen. Sullivan attended a meeting at the White House where President Trump signed an executive order that began to roll back the EPA’s WOTUS Rule.
    •    On Apr. 26, 2017, the EPW committee held an oversight hearing titled “A Review of the Technical, Scientific, and Legal Basis of the WOTUS Rule.” At the hearing, Chairman Barrasso called for the withdrawal of the fundamentally flawed rule. Witnesses testified that the 2015 WOTUS Rule is not supported by the Corps’ experience and expertise, scientific studies, or the law.
    •    On Jun. 27, 2017, Senator Sullivan shared his views on the EPA’s efforts to withdraw and rewrite the overreaching WOTUS Rule.
    •    On Sep. 27, 2017, Senator Sullivan, along with committee members Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jerry Moran (R-Kas.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), sent a letter to the EPA and the Corps in support of the proposed withdrawal of the 2015 WOTUS Rule.
    •    On Dec.11, 2018, the EPA and the Corps proposed a revised definition of the WOTUS Rule.
    •    In Jan. 2020, the EPA and the Corps issued a revised definition of the WOTUS Rule.
    •    In Jul. of 2022, Sen. Sullivan was joined by all of his voting Republican colleagues and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) in passing his legislation to overturn the Biden administration’s onerous “National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Implementing Regulations Revisions.” The CRA was never taken up by the House of Representatives.
    •    On Dec. 30, 2022, the EPA and the Corps issued the final “Revised Definition of 'Waters of the United States'” Rule. The rule was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 18, 2023 and took effect on Mar. 20, 2023.

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