Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

California Members Issue Statements on Water Negotiations

Dec 10, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, California Members of the House of Representatives released a timeline outlining water negotiations between the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate dating back to 2011. In addition, Members issued statements regarding their ongoing, years-long efforts to alleviate the impacts of California’s drought.


Negotiation Timeline



  • H.R. 1837 the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act is introduced in the House. The bill would roll back government restrictions on the pumping of water for use by California communities and would ease regulations that result in hundreds of billions of gallons of fresh water getting flushed out into the ocean. 


  • The House passes H.R. 1837.
  • The Senate, with a Democratic majority, does not consider H.R. 1837 or pass its own water bill.


  • The House introduces and passes H.R. 3964, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Emergency Water Delivery Act, another attempt to ease government water regulations that restrict the water supply.
  • Senator Feinstein introduces S. 2016, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act, which would provide far less water for California families than H.R. 3964.
  • Senator Feinstein then pushes House Republicans to instruct Senate Republicans to allow passage of a second bill, the Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, S. 2198, which allowed the two Chambers to enter a negotiating conference.
  • House members and Senators begin talks on a compromise water bill, but Senator Feinstein walks away from the negotiations shortly before Congress adjourns
  • The House quickly passes H.R. 5781, the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014, that reflects negotiated language with Senator Feinstein.
  • Senators Boxer and Feinstein block H.R. 5781 from being included in an omnibus spending bill.


  • The House introduces and passes H.R. 2898, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015, which reflects the 2014 negotiations with the Senate.
  • The Senate introduces a water bill that spends $1.3 billion without an offset, meaning it has no chance of passing either chamber.
  • House-Senate negotiators meet for several months and make progress toward an agreement.
  • The House submits language to include in an omnibus spending bill that retains Democrat priorities as well as Republican priorities that the Obama Administration had largely agreed not to oppose. 
  • Senator Feinstein publically rejects the proposal less than 24 hours after the proposal is made privately.

Congressman Kevin McCarthy released the following statment:

Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)

The current drought and water crisis demands a response. The California Republican delegation has put forth a proposal to provide our communities immediate relief as El Nino is likely to bring a wetter than usual winter. Continued opposition from California Democrats in Congress to any solution that is designed to allow more water to flow to central and southern California only exacerbates the current drought and hurts our state.  The response from Senator Feinstein and Senator Boxer is disappointing given our proposal’s inclusion of many California Democrat priorities but unfortunately not surprising as they have opposed every legislative effort to find bipartisan agreement. The stakes are too high not to act.”