Democrats have blocked a Senate bill that would have forced the Obama administration to withdraw new federal rules to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands from development and pollution.
Supporters of the legislation did not get the 60 votes needed Tuesday to stop debate and consider the bill. The vote was 57-41, meaning Democrats have blocked the bill, for now.
Most Democrats say the Obama administration rules will safeguard drinking water for 117 million Americans and should remain in place. The White House threatened a veto of the bill.
Republicans and some rural Democrats fear a steady uptick in federal regulation of every stream and ditch.
Federal courts have already put the rules on hold as they consider a number of lawsuits filed after the regulations were released in May.