Action Alert: NDAA rider defeated, but Westlands plans to keep adding rider to bills

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Restore the Delta has confirmed that Rep. McCarthy’s attempt to add H.R. 1769, the Valadao drainage bill to approve the Westlands settlement, to the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) Conference, was rejected by the Conference Committee. The rider will not be included in the final bill, thanks to advocates like you who called and wrote to your Senators recently.

However, Westlands publicly announced a few days ago that they intend to keep adding the rider to every must pass vehicle in the weeks ahead until they have successfully passed the bill. Click here for background information and/or read the letter to Senator McCain on the drainage settlement. 

“We need you to call your Senators and House Representatives and notify them of this problematic process. Let them that know that by trying to cram through the drainage settlement into any and every bill in Congress, Westlands Water District is misusing Congress and the legislative process for their own gain. In addition, remind them that approving the Westlands settlement deal is essentially a bailout of the largest irrigators in California at taxpayer expense,” said RTD.

Get the contact information for your House Rep. 
* Senator Dianne Feinstein –
(202) 224-3841, (310) 914-7300, (415) 393-0707, (559) 485-7430 Tweet to Senator Feinstein.
* U.S. Senator Kamala Harris – (202) 224-3553, (213) 894-5000, (415) 355-9041, (559) 497-5109 Tweet to Senator Harris.

On November 3, the Soluri Meserve Law Corporation sent a letter on behalf of Restore the Delta and Local Agencies of the North Delta (LAND) to Senator John McCain, expressing opposition to H.R. 1769, the San Luis Drainage Resolution Act, which is expected to be added as a rider on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2018 in the next ten days. According to a news release from Restore the Delta:

“The bill would facilitate a controversial litigation settlement agreement between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Westlands Water District, and would allow the federal government to walk away from its responsibility to drain agricultural lands in California’s Central Valley of toxic salts and selenium without any safeguards that ensure drain water would be managed safely.

Restore the Delta and LAND assert that H.R. 1769 is a “massive giveaway of taxpayer money, undermines California’s effort to responsibly manage its scarce water resources, could imperil sensitive fish and wildlife, and threatens water quality in a major California river.”

In addition, Restore the Delta and LAND warn Senator McCain that H.R. 1769 includes a litany of gifts for Westlands, with no commensurate benefit for the public. Instead, the bill promises fiscal irresponsibility and peril for fish, waterfowl, and the California environment in general.”

To read the full letter, click here.