Congressional Democrats ignore California drought
Despite last-minute attempts by Central California Republicans to get some form of legislation passed to address how California manages water and to avert another disaster, Democrats in Congress, many of those California Democrats, blocked the attempt and now any legislation dealing with the drought in this state is dead until well into next year.
Hanford Republican David Valadao, joined by Reps. Devin Nunes, Kevin McCarthy and Democrat Jim Costa, tried to get some language passed in the final days of the Congressional year which would have reduced restrictions on sending water to cities and farmers in the Central Valley. Those restrictions this past year resulted in most farmers getting little water, created a shortage of water for residents in Lindsay and did millions of dollars in damage to agriculture in the Valley.
Supporters of the legislation feared that if nothing was done this year, a repeat of last year could be catastrophic this coming summer. If water is not made available this summer, then hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland will be lost, millions of trees will die and thousands of farm jobs will be eliminated.
Still, that concern was lost on California Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and many other Northern California Democrats who have hijacked the state water system to be used for fish rather than people and farming.
Missing from the legislation was any help for Tulare County and its residents whose wells went dry this summer because of the lack of water. Again, despite assurances made by President Obama when he visited the Valley early last spring and pledged to help, no help is on the way. In fact, the president said he would veto the legislation if it was passed and Gov. Brown also said he opposed the help for farmers.
We hope the Republican Congress next year sends the president a much stronger bill to address the problem. The time to compromise with environmentalists is over.