March 29, 2023

Senator Schmitt Defends Missouri Farmers and Ranchers, Blocks Biden’s Overreaching WOTUS Rule

WASHINGTON – Today, Senator Schmitt voted on a disapproval resolution that blocked the implementation of the Waters of the United States rule, which sought to expand the power of the Environmental Protection Agency over Missouri family farms and ranches:

“Defending our generational farmers and ranchers from federal overreach is one of my top priorities. Farmers and ranchers are the original stewards of the land, and know how to preserve it for generations to come. The Waters of the United States rule was a gross attempt to expand the power of Biden’s army of administrators and place dry creek beds and drainage ditches under federal control. I am proud to have played a part in blocking the federal government from interfering with Missouri agriculture, which is vital to the economy of our state,” said Senator Eric Schmitt. 


  • This year, the Supreme Court is set to issue a decision on the scope of federal jurisdictional waters. Instead of waiting to see how the Court rules, the Biden administration has created further regulatory confusion by changing the definition.
    • This is the third major change to the definition in less than eight years.
  • The revised WOTUS rule substantially expands federal jurisdiction over streams and wetlands, and encroaches on states’ authorities to regulate land and water within their borders.
    • By changing this definition, President Biden is unnecessarily creating regulatory uncertainty and added confusion and cost to infrastructure, transportation, and energy projects of all kinds.
  • The new rule adopts a subjective “significant nexus” test for determining when land or a water feature is subject to federal regulation under the Clean Water Act. This complex test gives federal bureaucrats control over determining when temporary, tributary, and other upland waters are regulated.
    • The rule makes farmers, developers, builders, and other landowners more reliant on the shifting interpretations of the EPA and Army Corps.
  • This ill-conceived Biden WOTUS rule isn’t actually about clean water, it’s about federal agencies trying to assert more power to regulate the lives of millions of Americans.
  • The Senate passed the WOTUS CRA by a vote of 53 to 43.

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