Miss. Senators Defend Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today cosponsored a resolution urging the Senate to uphold the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection Rule.

The resolution was introduced in response to President Joe Biden’s executive order revoking President Trump’s directive to rescind the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule.

“Under President Obama’s Administration, agencies claimed unprecedented authority to regulate our nation’s waters,” Wicker said.  “The Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule recognizes state control over local waters while still maintaining important protections for our environment.  I will continue working to ensure the federal regulatory system is not overly burdensome for Mississippi’s farmers, ranchers, and small business owners.”

“Our farmers, businesses, and communities want and deserve certainty.  The Trump administration went through an arduous rulemaking process to fix what was wrong with WOTUS, which was flagrant regulatory overreach by the Obama administration,” Hyde-Smith said.  “This resolution affirms the need for existing, right-sized application of the Clean Water Act.”

The controversial Obama-era WOTUS expanded the definition of U.S. waterways under the Clean Water Act, giving the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other federal agencies expansive authority to regulate streams, wetlands, ponds, ditches, and other non-navigable waterways.

Wicker has been a critic of the controversial rule since it was first proposed, supporting multiple efforts to halt the rollout of the rule in 2014 and 2015 and to defund the rule in 2016.  Wicker also urged the new Republican administration to roll back WOTUS in 2016 and celebrated President Trump’s executive action in February 2017. 

Hyde-Smith, as a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and Senate Appropriations Committee, worked to rally support among Mississippi’s agricultural interests, business sectors, and rural communities to support the Trump administration rule to replace WOTUS.  This effort culminated in the issuance of a new final rule in January 2020.

U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) authored the resolution, which is also cosponsored by Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barasso (R-Wyo.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.). 

The resolution can be found here.