GOP can’t find bridge for troubled water bill

GOP can’t find bridge for troubled water bill

storm.comingThe fate of a bipartisan drought bill passed Tuesday by the U.S. House of Representatives is as cloudy as California skies in recent days. The bill was crafted by GOP congressmen with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., although she opposed the final version.

But even if the bill didn’t face certain drowning in the U.S. Senate, President Obama has pledged to veto it. So drought relief floats into 2015, when Republicans will add to their control of the House the control of the Senate.

What happened? Acrimony between Democrats and Republicans in the House poisoned the well in the Senate. Every California Democrat in the House whose district includes parts of the Delta region voted to reject the bill. As the Sacramento Bee reported, “These Democrats say they were cut out from the negotiations. At one point, Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said House Republicans refused to brief California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer when she insisted on inviting House Democrats.”

Behind closed doors earlier this year, Feinstein secretly had carried out painstaking negotiations with California’s Republican delegation to the House of Representatives. Last month, Democrats and environmental activists pushed Feinstein to abandon her own water bill.

Last-minute labors

Despite the problems in the Senate and over the  objections of environmentalists, California Republicans introduced the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014. It was sponsored by Rep. David Valadao of Hanford, who was joined by Rep. Doug LaMalfa of Redding, Rep. Ken Calvert of Riverside and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield. McCarthy has made the bill a top priority as the 2014 legislative session hastened to a close.

The bill cleared the minimum bar for bipartisanship by including Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, among its co-sponsors.

But Feinstein’s troubles with Democrats drowned out bipartisanship. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has forcefully condemned the new bill. According to KPCC:

“LaMalfa says the legislation reflects agreements on particular issues they reached with Senator Feinstein.

“‘Some of our other Senators are standing in the way of that,’ says LaMalfa, a reference to Boxer, who heads the Senate environment committee.”

But Feinstein will be expected by Democrats to use her power in the Senate to sink the House bill — even though it includes language from the draft legislation she negotiated with the California Republicans in the first place.

Hoping to navigate the controversy without further embarrassment, Feinstein was restrained in her comments. “It’s my hope that we’ll reach agreement on legislation that can pass both the House and the Senate and enact a bill that moves water to Californians suffering from the drought and helps all of the state while not waiving environmental protections,” she said, according to the Bee.

As the San Francisco Chronicle observed, however, Feinstein made clear she favored acting quickly because of her diminished clout in next year’s Congress, when Democrats switch from majority to minority status.

Remarkably, Sen. Boxer had co-sponsored with Feinstein the Senate bill that became the basis of Feinstein’s negotiations with California’s House Republicans. But environmentalists and other liberal activists will find it harder to criticize Feinstein or Boxer as their legislative influence fades.

Troubled waters

For Republicans, that has put drought relief on the agenda for 2015.

Obama likely will be inclined to veto a bill next year as well. But he will face an emboldened Republican majority and a weakened delegation of California Democrats.

He also will have much on his agenda in other areas over which to battle Republicans: the budget, taxes, immigration, wars and crime.

As President Clinton  showed when Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, sometimes it’s easier for a president to cut deals with the other party when it’s in the majority, than to deal with intramural struggles within his own party.

Meanwhile, 3,000 miles from Washington, despite the recent rains, California still needs drought relief.

5 comments

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  1. Timberrrrrr......
    Timberrrrrr...... 12 December, 2014, 15:20

    So the Democraps win again, huh? No surprise. The GOP hands them whatever they want on a silver platter. Look how the Republicans overwhelmingly passed the “CronyBus” spending bill, laden with pork and bailouts for Wall Street and fully funding Obama’s amnesty and ObamaCare. Do you really think that the Republicans in the Congress represent conservative values??? If you do please get a neurological workup. Don’t believe what they tell you. Watch how they vote. 167 traitor Republicans in the House voted to approve the “CronyBus” spending bill. There are only 233 Republicans in the house. I am done voting Republican. That’s it for me!! [EDITED]

    Reply this comment
    • Bill Gore
      Bill Gore 14 December, 2014, 08:51

      Of course they handed the demmies everything they wanted and moar-they’re all on the same team! Everyone’s a winner when your part of the team. So what’s the team shooting for in 2015 (cause the ‘new’ congress will be swiftly programmed for compliance)? 1) Welfare-keep the masses fat stupid and grinning while preparations are finalized 2) Another big blow-off war, hopefully with Russia, cause the last 12 years have been so good for their friends in the Carlyle Group, Brown and Root, General Dynamics, General Atomics, etc etc, ’cause they’re fully staffed and they’d hate to lose all these talented folks 3) The FINAL round of looting for wall street banksters, ’cause there’s hardly anything left..On the table are pensions (esp. govt), moar massive money printing, getting guarantees that they will be made whole for trillions in derivatives, and most exciting: carbon taxes (sniff-to ‘save the earth’).

      Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 13 December, 2014, 16:32

    The title to this tome brings back hippie memories of Garfunkel wailing on as those free loves spread mushrooms and flowers at the feet of Jane Fonda and B. Dorn.

    Hannity was in his crib tearing apart a stuffed donkey.

    Rubio and Cruz in Fidel’s to do black book for Elian Gonsolez re-education.

    Those were the days.

    Reply this comment
  3. desmond
    desmond 14 December, 2014, 18:58

    On a somewhat related point, it has been working raining crazy in the Bay area. The liberal comment is, nice but no effect on drought. Mark my words, if the season is a huge rainy one that officially gets us out of the drought, the comment will be to never mention the drought, but how much the rains were the result of global warming or global cooling caused by you guessed it. Hey,check out what happened to Galieo, because he went against settled science at the time that the sun revolved around the earth. Wonder what he thinks about now in heaven, …..morons, they never learn. Settled science, common sense, 97% of aholes agree..same s###, different aholes.

    Reply this comment
  4. Ted
    Ted "Eddy Baby" Steele, Associate Prof. 16 December, 2014, 08:01

    LOL

    Desi is a Doomer, a denier and a Birther ™
    lmao

    not the sharpest tool in the shed!

    Reply this comment

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