Goes to mat again for environmental agenda
President Joe Biden has vetoed a joint resolution from the House and Senate that would have repealed his Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, delivering what could be a fatal blow to that specific challenge to his environmental agenda.
The expected veto was issued on the afternoon of April 6.
“I just vetoed a bill that attempted to block our Administration from protecting our nation’s waterways—a resource millions of Americans depend on—from destruction and pollution,” the president wrote on Twitter.
“Incorrect. President Biden’s overreaching WOTUS rule jeopardizes the livelihoods of American farmers and small businesses,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote in response to Biden’s Twitter post.
The joint resolution of disapproval passed the Republican-led House with a vote of 227–198 on March 9.
It then passed the Democrat-led Senate on March 30 with a vote of 53–43.
Notably, it drew support from non-Republicans in rural states, where Biden’s WOTUS definition is seen as a major issue for landowners and which contain many of the United States’ greatest natural wonders and protected lands.
Those outliers included Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-N.M.), along with Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.).
Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Fetterman (D-Penn.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), and Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t vote.
Both the House and the Senate would need a two-thirds vote to overcome Biden’s veto—an improbable outcome, given the current partisan configuration of Congress.
It’s just the second veto of Biden’s presidency, and it comes months into a divided Congress in which the Republican-led House has set its sights on regulations promulgated by the Biden administration.
Biden’s first veto also related to his environmental agenda, targeting an anti-ESG investment measure.
“There is extensive evidence showing that environmental, social, and governance factors can have a material impact on markets, industries, and businesses,” the White House stated about that veto.
“The fact that Biden’s first veto is about promoting ESG reveals the problem: this isn’t the invisible hand of the ‘free market,’” Vivek Ramaswamy, a prominent anti-ESG investor and Republican presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter. “It’s the invisible fist of government.”
By Nathan Worcester