House moves drought relief bill, helps California

Dec 9, 2014 1:41 PM by News Staff

The House has passed a bill designed to give state and federal agencies authority to move more water in coming months to California's farm belt.

However, the Senate is not expected to take up the legislation before Congress adjourns, meaning lawmakers will likely have to start over next year.

The state is suffering from its third year of drought, and GOP lawmakers in the House have complained that environmental protections designed to protect fish and wildlife have exacerbated the water shortage in the state's San Joaquin Valley. The bill would increase water exports to the region.

GOP lawmakers used their majority to pass the bill by a 230-182 vote. Opponents called the bill a water grab designed to help farmers at the expense of others, particularly the state's salmon industry.


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