Senate Effort To End EPA’s WOTUS Rules Falls Short By Four Votes

Senate Democrats have blocked a Republican proposal that would have forced the EPA to withdraw a federal rule promoted as a protection small streams and wetlands from development and pollution.

An amendment sponsored by North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven did not get the 60 votes needed Thursday to stop the controversial rules.

Thursday’s vote was the latest effort by Republicans to check the water rule, which they call a political power-grab and overreach by the EPA and the Obama Administration. Most Democrats support the Environmental Protection Agency rules, claiming it will safeguard drinking water for 117 million Americans.

The Senate voted multiple times last year on GOP measures to thwart the rule. The efforts moved forward when a simple majority was required, but failed when 60 votes were needed. Fifty-six senators supported Hoeven’s amendment on Thursday.