Skip to content

Ernst Supports Rollback of Biden’s Overly Burdensome Water Rule

The Biden rule would impact over 46,000 Iowa small businesses.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) supported a bipartisan effort to overturn the Biden administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The resolution, which passed the Senate today, comes after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a rule to repeal the Trump administration Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and expand federal regulatory authority.


“The Biden administration has put the livelihood of Iowans in the rearview to charge full speed ahead with their out-of-touch and overreaching Green New Deal agenda. Senate Republicans are standing in the gap and fighting to get Washington off the backs of our farmers and small business owners,” said Senator Ernst, member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and ranking member of the Senate Small Business Committee.  


Full text of the resolution can be found here.



The Senate Small Business Committee, using SBA Office of Advocacy data, has determined over 46,000 Iowa small businesses will be impacted by Biden’s WOTUS rule, including simple projects like planning to build a home or breaking ground on a new barn. Iowa industries would bear the brunt of the burden. The overreaching rule would disrupt small business employers, including 98 percent of Iowa small business employers in agriculture; 99 percent in construction; and, 88 percent in manufacturing.


In 2015, Senator Ernst led an effort against the harmful WOTUS rule to nullify the expanded and overreaching regulations on Iowa farmers.  On day one of the Biden administration, an executive order rolled back the Trump administration’s practical and common-sense approach to determining a “water of the United States,” turning back the clock to Obama-era policies creating confusion and bringing back burdensome regulations. 


Sackett v. EPA is currently pending before the Supreme Court and will better determine the scope of the Clean Water Act, ultimately clarifying what is, and what is not, a water of the U.S.


Ernst is a cosponsor of Senator Mike Braun’s (R-Ind.) Define WOTUS Act, which would put in place a permanent, clear, and commonsense WOTUS definition, similar to the Trump administration, that would bring much-needed certainty to Iowa’s farmers, ranchers, landowners, small businesses, and builders.