Senate Sends Major California Water Policy to President Obama, Despite Barbara Boxer’s Objections

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The sun sets over Middle River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the hub of California’s water works. (Credit: Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Over Sen. Barbara Boxer’s objections, the Senate voted 78 to 21 Friday evening to pass sweeping water infrastructure legislation that changes how much water is pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to San Joaquin Valley farmers and Southern California.

The bill — co-authored by Boxer — authorizes hundreds of water projects across the country, including new infrastructure to fix lead issues in Flint, Mich., and and millions of dollars for projects connected to the Los Angeles River, Salton Sea and Lake Tahoe.

Earlier in the week, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy inserted 90 pages of California water policy that drew Boxer’s opposition, negotiated over the past year by the state’s 14 GOP members, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and a handful of House Democrats.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 360-61 (including 36 of 53 California members) on Thursday before representatives left town for the year.

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