Joe Biden Issues Second Veto of Presidency Halting Bipartisan Rollback of Waterway Regulation

President Joe Biden holds a meeting with his science and technology advisors at the White House on April 04, 2023 in Washington, DC. Biden met with the group to discuss the advancement of American science, technology, and innovation, including artificial intelligence. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Thursday issued his second veto since taking office, halting a bipartisan resolution that would have reversed waterway regulations enacted by his administration last month.

The Biden Amdinistration’s regulations issue protections for “hundreds of thousands of small streams, wetlands, and other waterways,” walking back deregulations implemented during the Trump Administration, as the Associated Press noted. Republicans and some Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), have argued the new regulations are an executive branch overreach.

After vetoing the resolution, Biden said his administration’s regulation “provides clear rules of the road that will help advance infrastructure projects, economic investments, and agricultural activities — all while protecting water quality and public health,” the Hill reported.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the new regulations, “Revising the Definition of ‘Waters of the United States (WOTUS),'” in late December. Those in the private sector will need federal permits in order to carry out efforts like “construction or mining” on the myriad of newly protected waterways, according to the Hill.

Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced H.J, Resolution 27 through the Congressional Review Act in February to override the regulations. Graves’s resolution passed by a margin of 227-198 with the help of nine Democrats in March.

The bill then advanced from the Senate last week with the support of 53 Senators. Four Democrats, including Manchin, Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Jackie Rose (D-NV), joined 48 Republicans and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), who fled the Democrat party months ago, in voting for the resolution.

Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) ripped Biden following the veto, stating he “turned his back on Montana farmers and ranchers.”

“In his latest veto, Biden rejected the bipartisan effort to repeal his disastrous WOTUS rule and end federal overreach into our dry creek beds and mud puddles,” Rosendale said.

Sen. Todd Young (R-IN) shared a similar sentiment, calling out Biden for vetoing the bipartisan legislation.

The new measures in the Biden Administration’s “Revising the Definition of ‘Waters of the United States'” took effect in 48 states on March 20. Judge Jeffrey Brown of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas issued an injunction on the regulation in Idaho and Texas, ruling it “poses irreparable harm” to the residents of those states, as Fox News’s Thomas Catenacci reported last month.

“Brown declined to issue a nationwide injunction, but noted 25 other states have challenged the rule in two separate ongoing lawsuits,” Catenacci wrote.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton lauded the injunction.

“The unlawful rule would have saddled Texans across the state with crushing new regulations, slowing our state’s economic development and limiting our job growth,” he said, per Fox News.

Biden’s first veto came late last month when he struck down “a bipartisan bill that would have reversed his Labor Department rule allowing left-wing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) policies to be considered in retirement investing,” as Breitbart News’s Jacob Bliss reported.


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