McCarthy asks Senate to pass drought legislation

McCarthy asks Senate to pass drought legislation »Play Video

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy received a grim drought update on Friday from leaders of the Kern County Water Agency, calling on the Senate to follow the House in passing drought legislation.

"I think now is the time to actually find a solution. If they don't like our bill, take it up, vote it down, but pass what they can pass," McCarthy said. "I don't care what they pass. Show me where they stand, and we'll be the first to go to conference and come back with a final bill."

Earlier this week, the House approved an emergency drought bill backed by McCarthy, as well as central valley congressman Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif. and Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

The bill would ease environmental restrictions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, allowing more water to be pumped.

"Lots of times what you found within these court cases, they make the judgement on the extreme," McCarthy said regarding environmental protections on delta sealife. "We need some common sense that those gates could've been opened earlier. It would've made a major difference."

California senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer released a joint statement on Thursday regarding drought legislation.

"Each day I monitor the California drought, and each day brings more concern,” Feinstein said. “I intend to introduce legislation soon with Senator Boxer to offer relief for California and other drought-stricken states and to streamline federal projects and operations.”