Forty-one senators voted against moving forward with debate on a bill that would require EPA to rework the controversial Clean Water rule known as Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), which was enough to keep the bill from a vote on the floor.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Barrasso (R-WY), would instruct EPA to craft a WOTUS rule that “takes into consideration positions held by folks like farmers, ranchers, manufacturers and small businesses.” The bipartisan legislation was backed by a number of Democrats, including Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) who spoke in favor of the bill on the floor. “Uncertainty of #WOTUS rule affects everyone,” she tweeted. “Working 2 give certainty 2 farmers & #smallbiz w/ our bipartisan bill.”
Floor speech from Sen. Heitkamp: Sen. Heitkamp on WOTUS
The Republican senator from North Dakota also gave an impassioned floor speech against the WOTUS rule. “The federal government should be doing all that it can to empower those who grow our food and create jobs,” said Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND). “Instead regulators are stifling growth with burdensome regulation that generates cost and uncertainty.”
Floor speech from Sen. Hoeven: Sen. Hoeven on WOTUS