Around noon today, the Senate began taking a series of votes on non-binding amendments to the annual budget resolution, called “vote-a-rama.” The amendments will focus on a range of environmental issues from clean water protections to whether Congress should rule out a tax on carbon emissions.

The votes aren’t over yet and there’s still a chance that there’ll be at least one more dirty water amendment from Sen. Lee (amendment #859).

ACTION: Call your target Senator(s) and say THANK YOU for voting against Sen. Barrasso’s dirty water rider and give them a heads up that there may be a vote on the Lee amendment, which would roll back critical Clean Water Act protections and undermine the EPA’s clean water rule.


CO – Bennet

FL – Nelson

MN – Franken

PA – Casey

VA – Warner and Kaine

Sample Talking Points:

I’m calling to say thank you for your boss’s vote on the Barrasso dirty water amendment last night and warn you about another bill that might be coming down the pike.

THANKS: As you know, the clean water rule is a big priority for us, and I really appreciate your boss’s vote. We’ll be sure to let our members know about it too.

As I mentioned, there’s another dirty water amendment we’re worried about. Specifically, Sen. Lee’s amendment, #859, would put Senators on the record in favor of rolling back Clean Water Act protections and against restoring protections to the streams that feed the drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans.

SWINGS – Can we count on your boss to oppose the Lee amendment?

CHAMPS – I know that your boss has been a champ on these issues, so I mostly just wanted to put these on your radar, we’re certainly counting on your boss to stay vigilant against these attacks and had all the info he/she needed.

Great. Let me know if you have any questions or need any more information. Who else have you been hearing from? Etc.

Background on the Lee amendment (#859) that you can share with offices if they need it: This amendment undermines the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers’ clean water rulemaking and the historic scope of the Clean Water Act by narrowing the term “Waters of the United States” to waters “that are navigable-in-fact or permanent, or continuously flowing bodies of water.” This definition clearly runs contrary to the Clean Water Act, Congressional intent, scientific evidence, and Supreme Court precedent. The Clean Water Act cannot “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters” without protecting the streams and wetlands that flow into these larger bodies of water.