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Feinstein Backs Federal Water Legislation

Washington, DC — California’s U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have opposing views on a water package that would impact the state.

Citing it as the result of three years of discussions, Senator Diane Feinstein yesterday announced that she will support the “Water Resources Development Act” that includes $558-million for storage, desalination, recycling and wildlife protection programs.

Congress is planning to vote on the bill later this week.

Republicans have been pushing for water legislation in the House of Representatives over the past few years but had not gained the support of key House and Senate Democrats, or President Barack Obama. It is a last minute bill that could be passed prior to the end of this session.

Feinstein says, “This bill isn’t perfect but I do believe it will help California and it has bipartisan support including Republicans and Democrats in the House, and that’s why I’m supporting it. After three years and dozens of versions of legislation, I think this is the best we can do.”

The bill also eases some of the environmental restrictions for moving water south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

California’s other Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer came out yesterday against the water package arguing that it would rollback some Endangered Species Act protections at the benefit of large agricultural corporations. It’s a rare case where the state’s two Democratic Senators have an opposing view on such a high profile bill. The legislation is expected to have enough support in the US Congress but its fate in the US Senate still remains unclear.