Ag Policy Blog

American Farm Bureau: President Biden Let Farmers Down with WOTUS Veto

Chris Clayton
By  Chris Clayton , DTN Ag Policy Editor
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A small stream flowing on a farm. A major conflict over the latest waters of the U.S. rule is whether such areas fall under federal oversight. The controversy over the rule led both chambers of Congress to vote to roll back the latest EPA rule, though President Joe Biden vetoed that measure on Thursday. (DTN photo by Dan Miller)

The president of the American Farm Bureau Federation said Thursday that President Joe Biden let down farmers with his veto of the Congressional Review Act resolution that would have overturned EPA's waters of the U.S. rule.

"This veto flies in the face of President Biden's promise to support farmers and ranchers," said Zippy Duvall, a Georgia farmer. "This rule is a clear case of government overreach that leaves farmers wondering whether they can farm their own land. It's a shame the President is standing with bureaucrats instead of with the people who stock America's pantries."

Biden issued his second veto Thursday to reject the Congressional Review Act resolution. The Senate had passed it 53-43 at the end of March with four Democrats and one independent joining every Republican in backing the measure. The House had passed the resolution on a 227-198 vote. Biden defended he rule in a letter to lawmakers.

"Farmers would be left wondering whether artificially irrigated areas remain excluded or not," Biden wrote to Congress. "Construction crews would be left wondering whether their water-filled gravel pits remain excluded or not. The resolution would also negatively affect tens of millions of United States households that depend on healthy wetlands and streams."

Biden also tweeted Thursday on the veto, 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. Let me be clear: Every American has a right to clean water. This veto protects that right."

Duvall disagreed with Biden's assessment. "The President's decision to disregard the bipartisan will of Congress also causes farmers, ranchers and all Americans to doubt his often-repeated commitment to work with Congress when Members come together on a bipartisan basis. They did so and he rejected their will with the stroke of a pen. Mr. President, you let us down."

The next major move regarding waters of the U.S. rules will come when the U.S. Supreme Court hands down its ruling in the Sackett case.

Chris Clayton can be reached at

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