Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by the loss of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) function and results in a respiratory phenotype that is characterized by dehydrated mucus and bacterial infections that affect CF patients throughout their lives. Much of the morbidity and mortality in CF results from a failure to clear bacteria from the lungs. What causes the defect in the bacterial clearance in the CF lung has been the subject of an ongoing debate. Here we discuss the arguments for and against the role of the epithelial sodium channel, ENaC, in the development of CF lung disease. © 2012 by the American Physiological Society.