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Grassley, Ernst, Braun Introduce Legislation to Make Commonsense Water Rule Permanent

Sen. Chuck Grassley joined Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in introducing the Define WOTUS Act, a bill to legislatively define the “waters of the United States,” (WOTUS) and make a reasonable, workable definition of the term permanent.

“Adding more federal red tape for home builders during construction or to a farmer’s day-to-day decisions on the farm is government overreach, plain and simple. I’ve worked over the years to put a stop to water rules that would be unworkable for Iowa farmers and landowners,” Grassley said. “Iowa is leading the way in clean energy and our farmers and businesses are good stewards of the land. It’s time to make this important policy a law and provide some much-needed certainty to our constituents.”

“The Obama-Biden WOTUS rule was an egregious overreach, giving the federal government authority to regulate water on 97 percent of the land in Iowa—and I fought tirelessly to scrap the absurd rule and replace it with one that provides more certainty to Iowa’s hardworking families, farmers, and businesses. As the Biden Administration seeks to undo this work, it’s more important than ever to ensure a new, reasonable WOTUS definition is made permanent—which is exactly what this bill would do,” Ernst said.

 “Regulations for what falls under ‘Waters of the U.S.’ have ping-ponged back and forth for years. Farmers and families need a reasonable, practical definition for WOTUS, and that’s why Congress should do its job and define the law,” Braun said.

Grassley and Ernst recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to express concerns over the Biden administration’s decision to roll back the previous administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule. He also gave a speech on the Senate floor highlighting the devastating effects if the rule is rolled back.

Earlier this year, Grassley joined Ernst on a Senate resolution that expressed the need for the U.S. Senate to stand with farmers, ranchers and other important stakeholders by supporting the Trump Administration’s Navigable Waters Protection rule, which replaced the Obama-era WOTUS rule.

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