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Congressman Jerry McNerney

Representing the 9th District of California

Rep. McNerney Responds to GOP Drought Press Conference

Dec 11, 2015
Press Release

Washington – Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-09) issued the following statement in response to the Republican Drought Press Conference at noon today:

“The Republican response to our Senators this morning was more than disappointing.  Despite their statements, I do not agree that this was an open and transparent process. These unfinished negotiations did not receive final sign off from our Senate and House colleagues and certainly did not result in a fully vetted bipartisan product.

“I, along with many of my colleagues in California and members from Oregon, Arizona, and Washington, have consistently raised our concerns with Republican proposals that would harm our communities’ water quality and supply, disadvantage our farmers and fishermen, and violate tribal trust responsibilities. Micromanaging our water supply system to prioritize some regions over others while weakening environmental protections and clean water laws does not responsibly address the drought and will not create any new water. Despite these concerns, I have always promoted and pursued policy alternatives that encourage greater resiliency and more efficient management of our precious water supply.

“Since we continue to face unprecedented water shortages, discussions on how to solve the drought are far from over, so we must remain vigilant against any legislative action or policy that will destroy the Delta’s ecosystem, divide communities, and hinder solutions needed to address an ongoing drought crisis. I look to future negotiations that follow regular order as an opportunity to explore real, innovative solutions that invest in the technologies and policies necessary to build the long-term resiliency and regional self-sufficiency this drought requires.”

This week, Rep. McNerney led 20 House Democrats from California, Oregon, Arizona, and Washington in sending a letter to President Barack Obama, expressing their disapproval with Republican congressional efforts to hijack the drought crisis affecting western states.

Congressman McNerney has shown leadership in pursuing and expanding bold, innovative solutions that create more water to help California address its severe drought crisis.

In July of this year, Rep. McNerney held a roundtable with technology innovators and representatives from the renewable energy, agriculture, business, and water recycling sectors to discuss technology and science-based solutions to the drought.

The Congressman also introduced bipartisan legislation to establish a smart water management pilot program meant to spur innovative projects.

Rep. McNerney has also introduced legislation calling on Congress to authorize 27 regional water recycling projects that can create water for irrigation, agriculture, conservation, and to increase the potable water supply.

The Congressman also led his California and Oregon House Democrat colleagues in sending a letter to U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer. The letter stressed that any legislation addressing California’s drought requires serious compromise and should include policies that do not negatively impact the economies, farmers, communities, and environments of California, Oregon, and other Western states.

In October, Rep. McNerney led a follow-up letter with 27 House Democrats from four delegations including CA, WA, AZ, and OR to Senators Murkowski and Cantwell stressing the concerns these delegations have about the potential negatives impacts of the Rep. Valadao bill moving forward.

The Congressman has hosted a California Drought Solutions Forum to bring together a variety of stakeholders and experts to discuss ways in which to advance technological, scientific, and energy solutions that are crucial in helping California respond to the drought.

Rep. McNerney is currently working on a comprehensive drought relief bill that incorporates many of the innovative solutions that need to be championed.  It will promote forward thinking water and energy policies along with a focus on regional self-sufficiency and water infrastructure.  The Congressman will be introducing this bill early next year.

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Rep. Jerry McNerney proudly serves the constituents of California’s 9th Congressional District that includes portions of San Joaquin, Contra Costa, and Sacramento Counties. For more information on Rep. McNerney’s work, follow him on Facebook and on Twitter @RepMcNerney