VIDEO: Ricketts Votes to Block Biden’s WOTUS Rule
March 29, 2023
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) joined a bipartisan majority to pass legislation to block the Biden administration’s expanded Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Following the vote, Ricketts gave remarks on the Senate floor.
“The Biden administration is trying to subvert our laws, and it must be stopped,” said Ricketts. “If allowed to stand, this rule would increase costs and uncertainty for producers, property owners, and small business. President Biden and liberal bureaucrats have absolutely no business regulating this, and I think the President knows it.”
The legislation now heads to the President’s desk for consideration. The Biden administration is attempting to change the definition of navigable waters to include smaller bodies of water like roadside ditches, puddles on construction sites, and farm ponds.
The Congressional Review Act on WOTUS was led by Senator Shelley Moore Capito.
Watch the video HERE.
Senator Ricketts Senate Floor Remarks on Blocking Biden’s WOTUS Rule
I rise today to fight a blatant land grab by the federal government.
My colleagues and I support the Senator from West Virginia’s resolution disapproving the Waters of the U.S. rule.
This rule would change the definition of navigable waters to include things like roadside ditches, puddles on construction sites, and farm ponds.
Think about that, President Biden’s EPA and his Army Corps of Engineers apparently believe that drainage ditches and construction site puddles and farm ponds are “navigable waters.”
To say this statement defies all common sense is an understatement.
Quite frankly, it’s embarrassing.
I’m from Nebraska. I get it, I’m from a land-locked state.
But to me “navigable” water means you can put a boat in the water and go somewhere.
But you don’t have to take it from me.
The Merriam Webster definition of navigable is deep enough and wide enough to afford the passage of ships.
You put a boat in a roadside ditch, and you’re not going anywhere.
You put a boat on a construction site puddle, and you’re not going anywhere.
You put a boat on a pond, and you’re not leaving the pond.
To a Nebraska farmer or rancher — this is just dumb.
Beyond that, the Biden administration is trying to change the law without coming to Congress.
The 1972 Clean Water Act has navigable water in it 50 times.
Congress’ intent could not have been more clear.
As a legislative branch, we must protect our authority.
The Biden administration is trying to subvert our laws, and it must be stopped.
If allowed to stand, this rule would increase costs and uncertainty for producers, property owners, and small business.
President Biden and liberal bureaucrats have absolutely no business regulating this, and I think the President knows it.
You know why I think the President knows it?
Well, President Biden’s EPA and Army Corps of Engineers quietly finalized this new rule on the last working day of the year – right before New Year’s Eve.
It seems like the president and his cronies hoped no one would notice this power grab.
Well guess what? We noticed.
Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers noticed. My Senate colleagues and I noticed and we’re pushing back hard.
Today, my colleagues and I are defending private property rights from this unconstitutional power grab.
Today, we are sending a message to President Biden that our farmers and ranchers need relief, not regulation.
Today we are fulfilling our responsibility to provide oversight and accountability in response to executive overreach.
Today, we are defending the authority of the legislative branch.
When I was Governor, I repeatedly opposed President Obama’s efforts to expand Waters of the U.S.
As Senator, I strongly oppose President Biden’s attempt to do the same.
I want to again thank Senator Capito for her leadership on this issue.
I am proud to have joined a bipartisan effort today to vote to rescind this unconstitutional rule.
I hope President Biden will sign this common-sense resolution as he did the D.C. Crime Bill.
He agreed with a bipartisan group of Senators then, he should do the same now.
To join Senator Ricketts’ press list, please click here.