Senate Barely Blocks Amendment to Block WOTUS Funding

The Senate on Thursday voted 56-42 to fail an amendment to block funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water of the United States rule in the energy and water appropriations bill.

The amendment, offered by Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), would have blocked the Army Corps of Engineers from developing, adopting, implementing, administering or enforcing any change to the regulations for the definition of waters under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.

Under the the WOTUS final rule, the EPA extended its authority to include waters that have a “significant nexus” with “navigable” waters, including a 4,000-foot buffer zone around those waters. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit issued a stay of the rule in October.

On Wednesday, the White House issued a veto threat for the bill if the measure included¬†“problematic ideological provisions that are beyond the scope of funding legislation.”