(Washington, DC) In a major victory for communities across Iowa and the middle class, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst’s (R-IA) resolution of disapproval (S.J. Res. 22) to put an end to this expanded definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule today passed the U.S. Senate with bipartisan support. The legislation now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives. Following passage in the Senate, Ernst issued the following statement:
Today’s passage to scrap the expanded WOTUS rule is a major win for our hardworking farmers, ranchers, manufacturers, and small businesses who are continuously ignored by the EPA. It is abundantly clear that the WOTUS rule is ill-conceived and breeds uncertainty, confusion, and more red tape that threatens the livelihoods of many in Iowa and across the country.
Our resolution stops the EPA from continuing to act as an unchecked federal agency of the Obama Administration, expanding its power over Iowa farmers, small businesses, ranchers, and other landowners in our rural communities. Iowans have an incentive to conserve their own land, they don’t need Washington bureaucrats from the EPA telling them what’s best. Passing this resolution is a major step forward to stop the EPA’s blatant power grab and scrap the expanded WOTUS rule.
The time to act is now and I will not ignore the commonsense voices of hardworking Americans. President Obama will ultimately be forced to decide between an unchecked federal agency, or the livelihoods of our rural communities who say this overreaching WOTUS rule must be stopped.
Senator Ernst’s Additional Efforts to Scrap WOTUS Rule:
- Last month, Senator Ernst released a statement following a federal court ruling to issue a nationwide stay, suspending implementation of WOTUS.
- The Iowa Senator cosponsored Senator Barrasso’s proposal, which provided clear principles and directions for the EPA and ACE to craft a WOTUS rule that takes into consideration positions held by key stakeholders.
- 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 jurisdiction to over approximately 97 percent of Iowa. See map below: