Dec 9, 2014

The Senate Needs to Act on California Emergency Water Legislation

Washington, D.C. – On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed legislation aimed at providing immediate emergency drought relief to California.

H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act was introduced on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 by Rep. David G. Valadao (CA-21) to improve the dire drought conditions currently threatening California. The legislation would provide operational flexibility for the two California State water projects in order to immediately provide relief to hardship caused by water supply shortages. This temporary solution would expire after 18 months, on September 30, 2016. The legislation does not amend the Endangered Species Act and has received bipartisan support in the House of Representatives. On Tuesday, December 9, 2014 the legislation passed in the House by a vote of 230-182.

Original cosponsors Reps. David G. Valadao (CA-21), Kevin McCarthy (CA-23), Ken Calvert (CA-42), Doug LaMalfa (CA-01), Tom McClintock (CA-04), and Devin Nunes (CA-22) released the following statement following the passage of the legislation:

“Californians are suffering and this bill will provide them with the immediate relief they desperately need. The House of Representatives has recognized the importance of this legislation, not just for California, but for our entire nation. The drought is a natural disaster, and like any other disaster, deserves immediate action. Earlier this year, the House and Senate both passed drought-relief bills, and we entered negotiations to try and find middle ground. Every time we return home, we see how much pain this drought continues to cause. In order to get this bill across the finish line in time for the rainy season, House Republicans included many provisions from the Senate’s own legislation as well as agreed upon language from negotiations in the bill passed in the House today. Unfortunately, Barbara Boxer and many of her Democratic colleagues in the Senate have not shown the same commitment to achieving a solution to the California water crisis as House Republicans have, and they remain opposed even to bipartisan compromise. It is time the Senate recognize the severity of this situation and act on this legislation before they adjourn for the year.”

The full text of the bill can be found here.

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