Sen. Young Challenges EPA’s Revised WOTUS Rule in Senate Floor Speech

Senator Todd Young (R-IN) delivers remarks on the floor of the U.S. Senate on March 1, 2023. Photo taken from video posted to Sen. Young’s official YouTube page.

Senator Todd Young (R-IN) has challenged the Biden administration’s recently revised Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in a speech that he recently delivered on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers revised the existing WOTUS rule in December 2022, which repealed the Navigable Waters Protection Rule (NWPR) and changed the definition of Waters of the United States in a way that expands federal regulatory authority.

“The rewritten Waters of the United States rule will make it harder and more expensive for our farmers to help feed the rest of the world,” said Young. “This is not part of an agenda that helps Americans – it’s a bareknuckle attempt to expand the reach of the federal government over their lives and activities.”

Last month, Young and Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) joined all 47 of their Senate Republican colleagues in formally challenging the revised WOTUS rule through a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval.

“Right now, our farmers are asking for clarity, for an even-handed approach to regulation that respects the environment and allows them to grow,” said Young. “If the Biden Administration is serious about strengthening the economy, it will reverse course and give it to them. Rescind this rule.”

The EPA’s WOTUS rule is also being challenged by the U.S. Supreme Court in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (2023). The case involves an Idaho couple who were denied the opportunity to build a new home on residential property they owned because the EPA argued that their property contained wetlands subject to EPA regulation under the Clean Water Act. The case has been in litigation since 2008 and was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in Oct. 2022. A decision is expected before the end of the court’s term in late June or early July.

The full text of the Senate resolution challenging WOTUS can be found HERE.

A one-page synopsis from Senate EPW Committee Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) can be found HERE.

Click BELOW to watch Senator Young’s full remarks from the Senate floor.