Biden Issues Second Veto of Presidency: Broad WOTUS Definition Persists

Sabrina Halvorson WOTUS Act

By Will Jordan

President Biden issued the second veto of his presidency on Thursday when House Joint Resolution 27 hit his desk. The resolution, sponsored by Congressman Sam Graves (R-MO) and Congressman David Rouzer (R-NC) would have nullified the Biden Administration’s Revised Definition of “Waters of the United States” submitted by the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers in January. Passing in both the Senate and the House with bipartisan support, the resolution disapproved of the newly expanded definition of “Waters of the United States” which replaced the narrower Navigable Water Protection Rule from 2020.

“Once again, President Biden has chosen to side with far-left environmental activists over everyday Americans, as well as majorities in both Houses of Congress. This veto is just the latest regulatory assault on America’s families, farmers, small businesses, builders, and entire communities already suffering under the President’s disastrous policies of the last two years,” Graves said in a press release Thursday. “I urge more of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to recognize the economic pain that these kinds of costly, overreaching policies are inflicting on Americans across the country.”

“While President Biden bows to the demands of radical environmentalists at the expense of hard-working Americans, Congress came together — on a bipartisan basis — to stand up for families, farmers, and entire communities by rejecting his flawed ‘Waters of the U.S.’ (WOTUS) rule,” Rouzer said. “I urge all of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to join us in overriding this veto so we can terminate this ambiguous, onerous and burdensome rule. Failing to do so will only make it harder to farm, build, and generate economic prosperity at a time when it is sorely needed.”

While Congressmen Graves and Rouzer sponsored H.J. Res. 27 in the House with 169 other co-sponsors, successful support for passage was led in the Senate by Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).

As a very water rich region of the United States, the Southeast has much at stake when WOTUS discussions are on the table. Both Graves and Rouzer noted their eagerness for a House vote to overturn the President’s veto.