Thursday, October 15, 2009

The House of Hypocrisy

Earlier today, the House passed H.R. 2442, the Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Expansion Act by George Miller (D-Martinez).  Passage of the bill came despite strong opposition by Republicans.

Miller’s legislation provides $38 million for water recycling programs in the greater San Francisco Bay Area.  The bill does nothing to address the ongoing water crisis in the San Joaquin Valley where half a million acres of productive farmland has been transformed into desert in order to protect a three inch bait fish, the Delta smelt.

This legislation is an insult to the water-starved communities of the San Joaquin Valley.  It is offensive to those of us who have fought for and been denied any legislative relief for the real water crisis in California – the one that has turned half a million acres into desert.

I have offered a variety of legislative proposals that would end the government-imposed drought – restoring the flow of water to communities that are approaching 40% unemployment.  Each of my proposals has been blocked by Democratic leaders.

My plan, which is to provide California’s federal and state water pumping facilities a short-term exemption to the Endangered Species Act (ESA), is virtually identical to legislation previously passed by Congress.

George Miller and his friends on the left supported the ESA waiver for New Mexico in 2003.  Now they are telling the people of the San Joaquin Valley "no."  The hypocrisy of my colleagues on the Democratic side of the isle is very telling.  Their actions today do not reflect the values of the American people.

In 2003, the New Mexico delegation received unanimous support in the Senate and an overwhelming bipartisan vote in the House, for legislation that waived the ESA on the Rio Grande River.  This was necessary to protect the water supply of Albuquerque residents from radical environmentalists who wanted to divert the water in order to protect a three inch bait fish - the silvery minnow.

The Delta smelt is virtually identical to New Mexico’s silvery minnow.  They are both three inch bait fish.  Californians deserve relief from the government-imposed drought, just like the people of New Mexico did in 2003.

See video of the debate on my YouTube Channel.