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Denham’s Water Bill Passes House

A Congressional bill that would increase water storage capabilities in the state passed through the Republican House of Representatives yesterday.

The vote was 246-175. District 19 Representative Jeff Denham, who represents Tuolumne County, spoke on the House floor. “It is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, it’s an American jobs issue,” claimed Denham. “To put people back to work.”

HR 1837 would alter some long standing water rights and eliminate many environmental protections for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Critics have argued that it too heavily favors the agriculture community. A controversial aspect is that it blocks a 2009 law designed to restore water flows in the Delta to protect the Chinook salmon.

District Three Congressman Dan Lungren also voted in favor of HR 1837. It now moves to the Senate where it could face stiff opposition. California Senators Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are both against the legislation. Governor Jerry Brown’s administration has also voiced opposition.