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Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. McCARTHY of California. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Chairman Hastings for his work in committee, and I'd also like to thank, Mr. Chairman, the subcommittee chairman, Tom McClintock, and the authors of this bill, Devin Nunes and Jeff Denham, for their work.

Now, in California there's a saying: ``Whiskey's for drinking and water's for fighting,'' and for too long we've been fighting about water. For too long this man-made drought in California has been ignored. Well, you know, today that stops. I'm excited about it stopping today; because you're going to hear a lot of arguments on both sides, but that's where we're supposed to debate, on the floor of the House.

But, you know, the thing we've always yearned for, the thing we've always taught our children? That an agreement is an agreement, that you keep your bond. You come into a debate where you make your points, but when you come to an agreement, you keep it.

Simply put, what does this bill do? This bill simply says an agreement is an agreement.

When both sides sat down from the Bay Area-Delta Accord--why was it named that? Because people from the bay area and people from the delta had discussions, had fights, had policy arguments, and they finally came to agreement.

Now, who was on what side? Was it all just based upon a farmer or just based upon environmentalists? No. There was the Clinton administration. There was Pete Wilson from the State. He was Governor at the time. There were farmers. There were environmentalists. Mr. Chairman, there were people that were in the administration that are even Members of this Chamber today who spoke in support of this. So if you made an agreement then, why do you want to break it?

And because of what the man-made drought has done, have you ever examined the pain that it has caused? I know people, when they think of California, sure, you think of Silicon Valley, you think of Hollywood, you think of San Diego. Well, you know what? There's this whole area in the valley. When you start and talk about this area in the valley, you know where my district is? My district is from the ``Grapes of Wrath.'' It's the shantytown everybody ended up in. Cesar Chavez is buried in my district. But you know what I saw from my valley on up? Thirty, 40 percent unemployment. I saw people standing in line.

I'm very proud of the district I'm fortunate to represent. There's two families in my district that grow 80 percent of all of the carrots in the country. But you know, because of this man-made drought, where hundreds of people were lined up to get food at the food bank, they were getting carrots. But were they getting carrots from America? No. They were getting carrots from China. The breadbasket of America.

Well, you know, that all ends today. It ends with a bipartisan agreement that America craves for us to find. You know what? In the Bay-Delta Accord, I didn't get everything that I would represent philosophically. The other side didn't as well. But, you know, the greatest thing about America is the rule of law, and if we make an agreement, we should stick to the agreement. Simply put, that's what this bill does and ends the man-made drought.


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