Providing for Congressional Disapproval of the Rule Submitted By the Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency

Floor Speech

Date: March 9, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Ms. VELAZQUEZ. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to this resolution.

For 50 years, the Clean Water Act has safeguarded our rivers, streams, and wetlands from pollution and degradation. Before the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972, New York City dumped millions of gallons of raw sewage and trash into the East River every day. Today, thanks to the CWA, we have made significant progress cleaning up the East River and the Hudson, so much so that marine life, like the humpback whale and dolphins, have been spotted in recent years.

This environmental progress is not unique to New York. Communities across the country have experienced the benefits of cleaner water, but the advantages of the CWA aren't limited to the environment. The law has also helped our economy.

Yesterday, during a Small Business Committee hearing on this topic, the owner of a South Carolina seafood company testified on the fundamental importance of clean water to his business. Robust Federal protection for clean water is a prerequisite for the success of businesses in a range of industries all across our country.

Despite this, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to allow industries to pollute our waters while shifting the cost of pollution to families, businesses, and communities downstream. They want to continue Trump administration policies that significantly limited Federal protections for clean water by excluding safeguards for many wetlands and streams.

Mr. Speaker, that is why I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this resolution.