For the first time in over a decade, the full U.S. Senate this week voted on legislation aimed squarely at blocking protections against polluting a wide swath of U.S. waterways, like wetlands and intermittent streams, that we use for drinking water supply, swimming and fishing. The action came in the form of an amendment to the Water Resources Development Act offered by Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) that would have prevented the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers from clarifying that the Clean Water Act protects small streams and wetlands that science shows are critical parts of the water cycle. Fortunately, the anti-clean water measure failed to get the 60 votes it needed to pass. This was a close vote, but a victory nonetheless for the 117 million Americans that depend on some of these vulnerable waters for at least a portion of their drinking water supply.
Some members of Congress consistently vote against clean water, and many others are reliable champions. Click here to see a full list of how senators voted. The senators profiled below were the biggest surprises in their vote to block protections for our nation's waterways. How surprised are you?