Ernst Remains Committed to Scrapping WOTUS Rule

“We must stand up for those in our rural communities and hold our government accountable. I remain committed to identifying new ways to push back against this complex, burdensome and overreaching rule.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) today released the following statement after President Obama vetoed her bipartisan resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res. 22) to eliminate the expanded definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule:

“During his State of the Union address, President Obama pledged a willingness to work with Congress on regulations and this legislation presented a great opportunity to do exactly that. Unfortunately, less than a week later, we see a President who is reneging on that commitment.

“Instead, the President chose to side with an unchecked federal agency and empower unelected Washington bureaucrats to expand their authority to control what’s done on private land. It is clear President Obama did not take into account the comments, perspectives and legitimate concerns raised by those whom this expanded WOTUS rule directly impacts.

“We all want clean water – that is not disputable. I have continuously emphasized that the water we drink needs to be clean and safe. However, this rule is not about clean water. Rather, it is about how much authority the federal government and unelected bureaucrats should have to regulate what is done on private land.

“This ill-conceived rule breeds uncertainty and confusion, while adding more red tape that threatens the livelihoods of many in Iowa and across the country. In fact, this rule would give the EPA extensive power to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in the state of Iowa. In addition, this invasive EPA power grab could cost our job creators up to $465 million per year. We cannot allow mounting unnecessary environmental regulations to overwhelm the commonsense voice of hardworking Americans.

“We must stand up for those in our rural communities and hold our government accountable. I remain committed to identifying new ways to push back against this complex, burdensome and overreaching rule.”  

Senator Ernst’s Efforts to Scrap WOTUS Rule:

  • Praised the bipartisan passage in both chambers of her resolution of disapproval to eliminate the expanded definition of the WOTUS rule.
  • Called out the EPA’s illegal use of taxpayer dollars to rally support for the harmful WOTUS rule.
  • Applauded Senate passage of her resolution of disapproval to scrap the WOTUS rule which passed with bipartisan majority support.
  • Spoke on the floor of the Senate to urge support for her resolution of disapproval to eliminate the expanded definition of the WOTUS rule.
  • Released a statement following a federal court ruling to issue a nationwide stay, suspending implementation of WOTUS.
  • Cosponsored Senator Barrasso’s proposal, which provided clear principles and direction for the EPA and ACE to craft a WOTUS rule that takes into consideration positions held by key stakeholders.
  • Denounced the EPA’s finalized WOTUS rule as harmful to Iowa.
  • 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.
  • 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 jurisdiction to over approximately 97 percent of Iowa. See map below:

EPA control over Iowa with WOTUS rule

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