skip to main content

S.J.Res. 22: A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the ...

Nov 4, 2015 at 12:01 p.m. ET. On the Joint Resolution in the Senate.

This was a vote to agree to S.J.Res. 22 (114th) in the Senate.

The President vetoed S.J.Res. 22, a joint resolution that would have voided a rule extending EPA regulatory authority over certain bodies of water. The Senate voted to override the veto, but only managed 52 of the 60 necessary votes to avoid a filibuster.

On June 29, 2015 the EPA and Department of Defense published a rule called the Clean Water Rule. The rule elaborated the definition of the term “waters of the United States” to include certain bodies of water under the regulatory authority of the EPA through the 1972 Clean Water Act. It was put into effect two months later on August 28, but states petitioned in court. On October 9 the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit suspended the rule until further notice.

The EPA wrote that the Clean Water Rule was introduced to “improve implementation of the national Clean Water Act section 404 program.” The section grants the EPA and US Army Corps with authority to regulate waste introduced to “waters of the United States.” In their litigation statement they explained:

“The Clean Water Rule was developed by the agencies to respond to an urgent need to improve and simplify the process for identifying waters that are and are not protected under the Clean Water Act, and is based on the latest science and the law.”

There was backlash to the increased regulation. 18 states petitioned federal court that the rule would “dramatically alter the existing balance of federal-state collaboration in restoring and maintaining the integrity of the nation’s waters.” Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IO), who sponsored S.J.Res. 22, denounced the rule as “overregulation” in several press releases.

The rule itself is a six page list of types of waters sorted by their inclusion in “waters of the United States.” The list excludes man-made features such as artificial irrigation and small features that will not drain into larger natural waters such as puddles. You can find the full rule here. For comparison, see the original rule at the bottom of this page.

Totals

All Votes R D I
Yea 55%
 
 
 
53
50
 
3
 
0
 
Nay 45%
 
 
 
44
1
 
41
 
2
 
Not Voting
 
 
 
3
3
 
0
 
0
 

Joint Resolution Passed. Simple Majority Required. Source: senate.gov.

The Yea votes represented 45% of the country’s population by apportioning each state’s population to its voting senators.

Ideology Vote Chart

Key:
Republican - Yea Democrat - Yea Republican - Nay Democrat - Nay
Seat position based on our ideology score.

What you can do

Vote Details

Notes: “Aye” or “Yea”?
Download as CSV

Statistically Notable Votes

Statistically notable votes are the votes that are most surprising, or least predictable, given how other members of each voter’s party voted and other factors.

All Votes

Study Guide

How well do you understand this vote? Use this study guide to find out.

You can find answers to most of the questions below here on the vote page. For a guide to understanding the resolution this vote was about, see here.

What was the procedure for this vote?

  1. What was this vote on?
  2. Not all votes are meant to pass legislation. In the Senate some votes are not about legislation at all, since the Senate must vote to confirm presidential nominations to certain federal positions.

    This vote is related to a resolution. However, that doesn’t necessarily tell you what it is about. Congress makes many decisions in the process of passing legislation, such as on the procedures for debating the resolution, whether to change the resolution before voting on passage, and even whether to vote on passage at all.

    You can learn more about the various motions used in Congress at EveryCRSReport.com. If you aren’t sure what the Senate was voting on, try seeing if it’s on this list.

  3. What is the next step after this vote?
  4. Take a look at where this resolution is in the legislative process. What might come next? Keep in mind what this specific vote was on, and the context of the resolution. Will there be amendments? Will the other chamber of Congress vote on it, or let it die?

    For this question it may help to briefly examine the resolution itself.

What is your analysis of this vote?

  1. What trends do you see in this vote?
  2. Members of Congress side together for many reasons beside being in the same political party, especially so for less prominent legislation or legislation specific to a certain region. What might have determined how the roll call came out in this case? Does it look like Members of Congress voted based on party, geography, or some other reason?

  3. How did your senators vote?
  4. There are two votes here that should be more important to you than all the others. These are the votes cast by your senators, which are meant to represent you and your community. Do you agree with how your senators voted? Why do you think they voted the way they did?

    If you don’t already know who your Members of Congress are you can find them by entering your address here.

  5. How much of the United States population is represented by the yeas?
  6. GovTrack displays the percentage of the United States population represented by the yeas on some Senate votes just under the vote totals. We do this to highlight how the people of the United States are represented in the Senate. Since each state has two senators, but state populations vary significantly, the individuals living in each state have different Senate representation. For example, California’s population of near 40 million is given the same number of senators as Wyoming’s population of about 600,000.

    Do the senators who voted yea represent a majority of the people of the United States? Does it matter?

Each vote’s study guide is a little different — we automatically choose which questions to include based on the information we have available about the vote. Study guides are a new feature to GovTrack. You can help us improve them by filling out this survey or by sending your feedback to hello@govtrack.us.