Valley Drought 2014: Lawmakers to Learn Impact First-Hand
FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) —
Members of the House say there are two options when it comes to Capitol Hill passing a new Water Bill. They can either sit and wait for the Senate to act, or do something.
"We have to continue to be active," says Rep. David Valadao, R- Hanford.
The U.S. House and Senate have new water bills. The House version would turn off some environmental rules, to turn on the water flow.
The House passed the bill in February.
"Democrats voted for the House Republican bill that passed," says Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare.
"I can tell you the U.S. House gets it," says Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Washington.
Rep. Hastings is the Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee.
A Senate bill was also introduced in February.
It has not gone up for a vote.
No matter which bill passes, President Obama will have to sign it before it's law.
He was in the Central Valley in February to pledge help for those who will lose their jobs because of the drought.
But, he did not mention increasing water deliveries, as many had hoped.
"It's easy for any government officials to come in and say we'll give you aid. That's not what people want," says Rep. Hastings.
At least nine members of Congress will be listening to testimony Wednesday at Fresno City Hall, at 10 a.m.
Some lawmakers say they are aware of some impacts of the drought, even before the meeting.
"It's going to devastate food prices elsewhere in the nation," says Rep. Cynthia Lummis, R-Wyoming. "It will hit every table in the United States."
Rep. Valadao says he wants his colleagues to see the drought issue as more than just lost productivity and dollar signs.