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Mike Garcia, California Republican Delegation Urge Natural Resources Committee Action on California Drought

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Representative Mike Garcia (CA-25) and the California Republican Delegation sent a letter urging the House Natural Resources Committee to hold a hearing on California’s drought disaster. Despite the natural disaster declaration by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on March 5, 2021, the House Natural Resources Committee has yet to take any action addressing California’s drought.

In the letter, the lawmakers emphasized the urgency to address California’s drought disaster.

“California and other parts of the West are facing catastrophic drought that will impact water supplies for our communities and help exacerbate massive forest fires. For example, water storage throughout the Central Valley Project (CVP) is historically low, the Bureau of Reclamation has already paused its 5% allocation for south-of-the-Delta Federal agricultural water users, the State of California has reduced the State Water Project allocation from 10% initially to 5%, and the Colorado River snowpack ‘fell well short of expectations,’” the lawmakers wrote.

The lawmakers also called out inaction by the democrat majority on the issue.

“For too long, many of our constituents have watched the needs of species like the Delta smelt outweigh the needs of people. The Democratic Majority’s upcoming hearings and lack of action on drought only perpetuate this, as well as turns a blind eye to the adverse impacts the drought is having on California’s ability grow the food we all eat and how it is hurting some of the poorest communities in our state,” the lawmakers wrote.

California House Republicans showed that they are ready to work across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to the drought.

“We may not agree on all of the prescriptions for combating drought, but we hope you agree with us that the time is now to focus on these matters.  Our constituents do not deserve to watch Congress do nothing while their communities are increasingly in danger of becoming parched and/or going up in flames. We stand ready to work with you on what we believe can be bipartisan drought solutions,” the lawmakers wrote.

In March, Garcia introduced a bill to extend the bipartisan California water provisions of the WIIN Act through fiscal year 2028. The bill would enact a seven-year extension for critical water supply provisions in the WIIN Act, thus improving California’s access to water.

Click here to read the letter.