Senate: Shroud of secrecy, ‘cone of silence,’ over California water bill deliberations

Senate: Shroud of secrecy, ‘cone of silence,’ over California water bill deliberations
(Image: AP, Jae C. Hong via Breitbart)

[Ed. – McClatchy indicates this all traces back to Dianne Feinstein’s office.  So what good did it do to elect a GOP majority?]

Five months into a new Congress, and deep into a lasting drought, California water legislation still stymies and splits the state’s lawmakers.

Draft copies are tightly held, as if stamped Top Secret. Myriad details are in flux. The legislative timing, though a June 2 Senate hearing could yet happen, remains unsettled. Democrats are divided; some are distinctly unhappy. …

Feinstein and her staff power the Senate’s drought legislation effort, which so far has labored beneath what several California water experts independently called a “cone of silence.” Though the GOP-controlled House of Representatives will pass a drought bill this summer, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., told Western growers last week, it’s the Senate that will make or break legislation. …

Some other California Democrats…denounce Feinstein’s efforts as “very disappointing” and the “same old story.” Politically, the vibes are not good. …

The Brown administration, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., said Friday, seems “ambivalent at best” about Senate proposals. The Obama administration is cautious; knowing, Costa said, “enough about California water to know it’s full of landmines.”

And on Capitol Hill, Feinstein’s fellow Democrats are her biggest critics.

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