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McCarthy: Central Valley is Being Crushed by Record Unemployment from Man-Made Drought

Oct 15, 2009
Press Release

Washington D.C. – Today, Congressman Kevin McCarthy joined his colleagues on the floor calling on House Democratic leaders to stop ignoring legislative efforts that would address the man-made drought in the San Joaquin Valley that is causing massive unemployment.  He implored his colleagues to take up the Turn on the Pumps Act.

Video of Congressman McCarthy’s floor remarks here:

Congressman McCarthy’s floor speech:

“I rise opposed to this rule. You cannot bring water to California when you bring another closed rule to the floor. You cannot bring water, or debate to the floor, when you don’t allow amendments. Madam Speaker, the people of the Central Valley are being crushed with record unemployment from a man-made drought, from 14% to over 40%. Plain and simple, the Majority that runs this House is failing to fix this problem. Jobs are being lost because the pumps were shut off.  At a time of crisis when there’s no excuse for partisanship, some appear to be playing partisan games at the expense of people’s livelihood. Instead of coming together as Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, the solution to get the water flowing sits behind post office bills, and this bill that would recycle water for use in the San Francisco Bay. I ask this simple question: why are we failing to take up a needed bill?  The Turn on the Pumps Act - to get the water flowing again. This is not a liberal, conservative, or moderate issue; this is a common sense issue. Madam Speaker, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself.” Well, the pumps are off, the pipes are dry, the land is no longer able to produce, and the soil is being destroyed. How do you bring water to California with a closed rule? How do you sit on this floor and say that you’re bringing up all these bills for water but you deny the Valley, you deny the breadbasket, and you deny the ability for the pumps to be turned on. I ask for a ‘no vote’ on the rule.”


Congressman McCarthy has cosponsored the following bills to help alleviate the man-made water crisis in the San Joaquin Valley:

• H.R. 3105, which would allow for the continued normal operation of the Delta pumps.  This would help get more water back into local communities regardless of biological opinions issued under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. 

• H.R. 856, which would increase water deliveries to the Central Valley and Southern California urban and agriculture users by waiving regulations regarding the Delta Smelt at the pumps during times of drought. 

• H.R. 996, which would increase water deliveries by temporarily exempting the operations of any water supply or flood control project from the Endangered Species Act when the Governor declares an emergency.