WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), both members of the Senate Agriculture Committee, joined Senator Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in introducing the
Define WOTUS Act, a bill to legislatively define the “waters of the United States,” (WOTUS) and make a reasonable, workable definition of the term permanent.
“The Obama-Biden WOTUS rule was an egregious overreach, giving the federal government authority to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in Iowa—and I fought tirelessly to scrap the absurd rule and replace it with one that provides more certainty to Iowa’s hardworking families, farmers, and businesses. As the Biden Administration seeks to undo this work, it’s more important than ever to ensure a new, reasonable WOTUS definition is made permanent—which is exactly what this bill would do,” said Senator Ernst, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“Adding more federal red tape to a farmer’s day-to-day decisions on the farm is government overreach, plain and simple. I’ve worked over the years to put a stop to water rules that would be unworkable for Iowa farmers and landowners,” Grassley said. “Iowa is leading the way in clean energy and our farmers and businesses are good stewards of the land. It’s time to make this important policy a law and provide some much-needed certainty to our constituents.”
“Regulations for what falls under ‘Waters of the U.S.’ have ping-ponged back and forth for years. Farmers and families need a reasonable, practical definition for WOTUS, and that’s why Congress should do its job and define the law,” said Senator Mike Braun.
This week, Ernst helped introduce the bipartisan Prove It Act, legislation that would give Iowa’s small business community the opportunity to send federal agencies back to the drawing board to “prove” that the regulations they are proposing would not hurt small businesses. Ernst cited the Obama-Biden WOTUS rule as an example of a regulation that would have burdened Iowa farmers, landowners, and businesses.
Last week, following a report that the Biden Administration is looking to roll back the previous administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule, Ernst called the decision a “gut punch” to Iowans while reaffirming her commitment to stand up to onerous regulations the administration may seek to impose on hardworking Iowans.
Earlier this year, Ernst led a Senate resolution that expresses the need for the U.S. Senate to stand with farmers, ranchers, and other important stakeholders by supporting the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule, which replaced the Obama-era WOTUS rule.