The issue: a biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that required water to be cut-off to the area to protect the Delta Smelt--a three-inch minnow-like fish. The problem: local farmers depended on that water to irrigate crops and could see farm job losses of up to 80,000.
In the Senate Tuesday evening, Senator Jim Demint (R-SC) tried to get the water flowing once again the Central Valley farmers who depend on their agriculture for livelihood. Demint offered an amendment to the Senate's Department of Interior spending bill that would've prohibited any federal funds from being used to restrict the water supply in the Central Valley area.
Despite Demint's efforts, the measure was voted down 61-36. Included in the opposition to the Demint amendment were both of California's Senators--both Democrats. Sen. Dianne Feinstein went so far as to compare Demint's amendment to let more water flow in her state to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. (Yeah, I don't get that one either.)
"I don’t quite understand what is going on here,” she said on the floor of the Senate. “And that is the reason for my objection. I’m not going to put the state of California and the Bay Delta in the threat of another lawsuit. We have enough already and water is a huge, difficult and complicated issue...in a way this a kind of Pearl Harbor, when everything we are trying to do, to work together, to put Interior in the lead, not to handcuff Interior and that is the reason I object to the amendment."
A video of Feinstein's ridiculous statement has subsequently been posted by Mr. DeMint's office online by clicking here.
Mr. DeMint seemed to think she was making it too complicated. “Unlike most of the big government solutions coming out of Washington that cost taxpayers billions, this amendment doesn’t cost a single penny,” said Mr. DeMint in statement. “We can turn the water on so thousands of Central Valley farmers can get back to work without creating another federal program or bailing out another industry.”