On Wednesday, a Republican-led resolution that would gut the water protections put in place by President Joe Biden's administration was passed with the support of four Democratic senators and one independent. The resolution takes aim at regulations finalized by the administration in December, which define "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) as protected under the Clean Water Act.
Democratic Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (Nev.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Jon Tester (Mont.) joined Independent Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) and all Republicans present to pass H.J. Res. 27 in a 53-43 vote.
The White House has already threatened to veto this measure once before, stating that it would leave Americans without a clear definition of WOTUS and could threaten economic growth in several sectors including agriculture, local economies, and downstream communities.
Environmental organizations like Sierra Club Executive Director Ben Jealous are calling out these senators for their support of corporate polluters over critical natural resources. Earthjustice Senior Legislative Counsel Julián González similarly urged members of Congress who supported this resolution to reflect on why they are tossing aside concerns from people who value our waters just to support those who want to eliminate meaningful protections for our waters.
Biden is expected to veto this bill when it reaches his desk again soon.