The chairman-elect of the House Agriculture Committee plans to invite EPA Administrator Michael Regan to testify about the new Waters of the U.S. rule, which the Biden administration released in late December.

Speaking on this week’s Agri-Pulse Newsmakers, Pennsylvania Republican Glenn Thompson called the new WOTUS rule an “overreach.” Last year, Thompson and other GOP committee members requested a hearing with Regan, an event Thompson says he wishes would have taken place.

“I've got to wonder if we would have had those hearings, had that conversation formally, if we could have influenced a better final rule than what they've released,” Thompson said.  

The rule, issued Dec. 30, maintains exemptions for agricultural practices while scaling back an exclusion for prior converted cropland that was in the 2020 rule. The new rule also eliminates an exclusion for ephemeral streams, which flow only when it rains or snows enough.

Thompson acknowledged the inclusion of “traditional agricultural exemptions” in the rule, but maintained that the agriculture committee “is responsible for, really, all of rural America” and said the new rule “amounts to the single largest private property taking in the history of our country.”

Thompson added he thinks it was premature of EPA to come out with a WOTUS rule before the Supreme Court has had a chance to issue a decision in Sackett v. EPA, which could provide much-needed clarity related to the WOTUS definition.

Thompson says once the 118th Congress is officially in session and a new speaker of the House is elected, both WOTUS and the farm bill will be top priorities.

Interested in more coverage and insights? Receive a free month of Agri-Pulse by clicking on our link!   

This week’s show includes more discussion on the farm bill, the continuing debate over who will lead the House of Representatives, and the potential impact of Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s, D-Mich., announcement to retire.

Ethan Lane with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Anne MacMillan with Invariant and Randy Russell with The Russell Group are also on this week’s show, which can be watched on

For more news, go to