The House of Representatives is taking its work on the road this week. Lawmakers are holding a Congressional hearing in Fresno to push for drought relief legislation.
Three members of the House Natural Resources Committee - Chairman "Doc" Hastings of Washington and California committee members Tom McClintock, a Republican from Lake Tahoe, and Democrat Jim Costa of Fresno - will take over the Fresno City Council chambers on Wednesday. They will be joined by a pair of Central Valley Republicans, including freshman Congressman David Valadao of Hanford. He sponsored the drought bill passed by the House last month. Valadao's measure pre-empts environmental restoration and rewrites water laws.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has introduced her own bill giving regulators flexibility to move water around and provides cash for drought relief. But the bill is stalled. Valadao says the Fresno hearing will put pressure on the other side of Congress to act. "We have to help the Senate deliver a bill."
The Central Valley has gotten a lot of attention from Washington lately: both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have visited drought-stricken Central California this year.