Following Barack Obama’s veto of the, Clean Water Rule, previously known as the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, Senate Republicans were unsuccessful in an effort to override the president on the issue last month. The Senate fell eight votes short of the 60 required for cloture. In that vote, Senators Joe Donnelly, Heidi Heitkamp and Joe Manchin broke with fellow Democrats and supported the effort, reflecting the longstanding opposition from each to the rule and what it means for their constituents.
The next step in addressing concerns with WOTUS will be the court system. There is already a nationwide stay on the Clean Water Rule issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit until the court can adequately review the scope and reach of the rule.
“We are all for safe, clean water, but we already have the rules and regulations in place to do that. We are all for environmental regulations if they make sense, but WOTUS is about grabbing property rights. That is why we are fighting it,” said Collin Woodall, with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. “This one does not make sense. We are using the courts to fight this and I believe have a good chance of getting the courts to strike this down.”
As the presidential debate unfolds in the coming months, Woodall emphasizes consideration of the candidates’ view on the Clean Water Rule and other environmental issues.
“When you look at this presidential election year you need to consider their environmental viewpoints. Those are going to continue to be some of the bigger things we are worried about. They have been a focus of the Obama Administration. Even when you start looking at the Republican candidates, some of them have some interesting views on things like global climate change,” Woodall said. “We are going to be watching that pretty closely and it is an issue that could help define the next administration.”