The Senate failed to move forward with a veto override on the Waters of the U.S. disapproval resolution Thursday. Following the veto earlier this week, the Senate considered an override, but the motion failed a cloture vote 52-40 as the Senate needed 60 votes in favor to override the veto. The legislation at issue falls under the Congressional Review Act, which gives lawmakers the power to overturn regulations. However, resolutions blocking federal rules are subject to a presidential veto and require a two-thirds majority for an override. Even if the Senate had achieved cloture on the resolution, final passage would have required a two-thirds majority in both chambers of Congress — a steep climb, according to The Hill. The fate of WOTUS currently lies solely with the Federal Courts, which many agriculture groups fear could be a lengthy and costly process.
Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after voting to override President Obama’s veto of the recent Congressional Resolution of Disapproval regarding the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. Donnelly said, “As I’ve said all along, no one wants cleaner water or healthier land more than the farming families who work and live alongside these waters. The WOTUS rule does not provide the clarity it intended – instead the rule burdens farmers and fails to incorporate input from people who work on the land every day. Last fall, a bipartisan majority in the Senate voted for my bill to fix the rule, showing that there’s support for a commonsense WOTUS rule that works for Indiana agriculture, farmers, and clean water across the United States. We have to keep working on a bipartisan, commonsense policy to best serve Indiana’s agriculture community and producers.”