Ernst Gains Enough Support to Tackle WOTUS Rule

After securing strong support, the Senate will consider Senator Ernst's S.J. Res. 22 in opposition of harmful WOTUS rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On the heels of U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) recent work to introduce a joint resolution of disapproval, S.J. Res. 22, that would scrap the expanded “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule, Senator Ernst has secured enough support to ensure the Senate can consider the bill without a filibuster. Senator Ernst’s efforts to stop the expanded definition of WOTUS will be taken up in the next week or two.

Last month, Senator Ernst led a group of 49 fellow Senators in introducing an effort to eliminate the WOTUS rule submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE), which expands the scope of federal authority over land and waterways. After securing strong support from her colleagues through a discharge petition, the Senate will now have to consider Senator Ernst’s S.J. Res. 22 in opposition of this harmful WOTUS rule.

“I am pleased the Senate will now move forward with our efforts to confront this ill-conceived and harmful WOTUS rule; we must eliminate unnecessary confusion and red tape for our farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses,” said Senator Ernst. “These efforts are the next necessary steps in pushing back against this blatant power grab, and I’m optimistic it will head to the President’s desk where he will be forced to decide between the livelihood of our rural communities nationwide and his unchecked federal agency.”

Sen. Ernst’s Additional Efforts to Scrap WOTUS:

  • Earlier this month, Senator Ernst released a statement following a federal court ruling to issue a nationwide stay, suspending implementation of WOTUS.
  • The Iowa Senator is also a cosponsor of Senator Barrasso’s proposal which provides clear principles and directions for the EPA and ACE to craft a WOTUS rule that takes into consideration positions held by key stakeholders, without causing additional harmful and unnecessary government regulations.
  • In May, Senator Ernst denounced the EPA’s finalized WOTUS rule as harmful to Iowa.
  • In May, Senator Ernst also introduced Iowa farmer and small business owner Darcy Maulsby to testify on the impact of WOTUS before the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, and share her personal experience with the harmful impact and overregulation by the EPA in Iowa.
  • In February, Senator Ernst invited EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to Iowa to see the potential impact of overregulation in Iowa. Administrator McCarthy has yet to take Senator Ernst up on this offer.

Impact on Iowa:

According to an analysis by the Iowa Farm Bureau, an expanded definition of the WOTUS rule would expand EPA and ACE jurisdiction to over approximately 97 percent of Iowa. See map below:

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