On Thursday, March 21, Sen. Paul introduced Amendment 380 to S.Con.Res.8, the Budget Resolution, which would enable Congress to redefine the term "navigable waters" using the Scalia language of the Rapanos v. United States (2006) plurality opinion. The amendment clarifies that waters must actually be navigable or "permanent, standing, or continuously flowing bodies of water that form geographical features commonly known as streams, oceans, rivers and lakes that are connected to waters that are navigable-in-fact."
"Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that the size of the federal government must be reduced, and with the imposition of such regulatory abuse, it is no wonder why. Americans are being treated as subjects of a regulatory administrative state rather than citizens of a free nation. This amendment will restore common sense to federal jurisdiction over navigable waters and place reasonable limitations on agencies that have grown wildly out of control," Sen. Paul said.
In the 112th Congress, Sen. Paul introduced similar legislation, the Defense of Environment and Property Act. Joining Sen. Paul as one of the nine co-sponsors on the original legislation, and offering support for the current amendment, Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) today added:
"I appreciate Senator Paul's efforts to more clearly define the term 'navigable waters' to prevent regulatory overreach," Sen. Lee said. "Without this clear definition, EPA regulators can claim the authority to control the desert regions of Utah because they contain dry washes with no running water."