Dems Introduce Drought Bills as Obama Heads to Fresno

Lawmakers seek to get tough on drought.

If lawmakers can't make it rain, they can do something about the drought with legislation.

Led by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Democratic lawmakers are working on law tweaks to help drought-ravaged California deal with its water shortage, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lack of water is expected to be on President Barack Obama's mind as he travels to Fresno, where farmers rule politically. Farmers who planted thirsty crops like almonds are contending with environmentalists, who want water kept in rivers to protect salmon and other species of fish.

Feinstein's proposal would give state and local agencies license to move water around while bypassing some environmental restrictions, the newspaper reported, and would also make some $300 million in drought assistance available.

The California Farm Bureau is behind Feinstein's bill, the newspaper reported.

Republicans have said that more water should be made available to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley -- which usually votes a reliable Republican red.

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