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Democrats Deny Vote to End California’s Man-Made Drought
Refuse to Consider Republican Proposal to Put 40,000 Americans Back to Work

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2009 - Today, House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings and Republican Leader John Boehner reacted to the Democratic response to the California water crisis.

“Today, Congress missed an historic opportunity to solve the water crisis in California. We could have begun to bring 40,000 people back to work with just one vote, but the Democratic leadership wouldn’t even let us debate real solutions. The proposals by Representatives Jim Costa and Dennis Cardoza are well-intentioned but won’t be enough to resolve this long-term, man-made crisis,” said Ranking Member Hastings.

Yesterday, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) offered three proposals that would immediately restore the flow of water to the San Joaquin Valley. They were not allowed to be considered for debate when the full House of Representatives met today. Instead, House Democrats allowed two amendments authored by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA) and Dennis Cardoza (D-CA) that provide some relief but do nothing to resolve the water cut-offs caused by two federal agency biological decisions

“The government-imposed drought confronting the people of California is tragic. While Democratic leaders are providing political cover to their friends, Republicans are offering solutions that would actually restore the flow of water,” said Republican Leader John Boehner.

“As a Western lawmaker from an arid region that’s economically dependent on irrigated water, I fully understand how environmental activists use lawsuits to create conflicts where people and jobs are the losers, but I’ve never seen anything like the economic devastation taking place in California,” continued Hastings. “It doesn’t require a lot of creativity to solve this problem. It just requires the Democratic leadership in Congress to tell their friends in the environmental movement that people are more important than fish.”

Background

In March, the House Natural Resources Committee held a full committee hearing on the California drought where Republicans called for swift action to address the man-made drought that is devastating California’s San Joaquin Valley.

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Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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