The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is going after six Democratic lawmakers for their opposition to a water-related bill that the House passed Wednesday by using digital ads that will run on Facebook next week.
The Republican committee’s ads will target moderate swing voters in districts represented by five California lawmakers as well as one from Arizona including Reps. Ami BeraAmerish (Ami) Babulal BeraThe Hill’s Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what ‘policing’ means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight Exclusive investigation on the coronavirus pandemic: Where was Congress? The Hill’s Coronavirus Report: David Miliband says world won’t be safe until poor nations get more aid; Cuomo rips WHO MORE (D-Calif.), Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.), John GaramendiJohn Raymond GaramendiPeace Corps faces uncertain future with no volunteers in field Overnight Defense: Aircraft carrier captain removed from duty after pleading for help with outbreak | Trump to expand use of defense law to build ventilators | Hospital ships receiving few patients Aircraft carrier captain removed from duty after pleading for help with coronavirus outbreak MORE (D-Calif.), Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Tom O’Halleran (D-Ariz.).
The ads, titled “Running us dry,” slam the Democratic lawmakers for opposing GOP Rep. David Valadao’s (Calif.) Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, which California Republicans say will help the Golden State prevent future droughts by expanding water storage and delivery capabilities in the state.
“Californians agree: We need more water storage. But after years of record drought, Congressman Ami Bera opposes expediting construction of a project that would provide water for tens of thousands of families in the Sacramento Valley,” said the narrator in the NRCC ad targeting Bera.
NRCC spokesman Jack Pandol said in a statement that these lawmakers sided with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and “radical environmentalists over their own constituents’ access to water.”
“Every family forced to pay more for this vital and increasingly scarce resource needs to know their Democratic Members of Congress are responsible,” Pandol said.
Democrats who opposed the Water Act argue that the bill would have negative consequences for the commercial fishing in California as well as diminish the state’s control over its own water supplies.
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“This legislation is bad for rural Arizona and the first district,” Cody Uhing, spokesperson for the O’Halleran campaign said to The Hill in a statement. “If signed into law, it could undermine critical water and environmental protections on which our rural and tribal communities rely. The fact that out-of-state special interests are spending money promoting this bill tells you everything you need to know.”
Dante Atkins, a spokesperson for the Garamendi campaign added in a statement, pointed to Garamendi’s efforts to deal with water supplies in the state.
“Like President Trump, the NRCC is not interested in the truth,” Atkins said. “Congressman John Garamendi is the principal coauthor and negotiator of S.612, the WIIN Act of 2016, that advanced and authorized four surface storage reservoirs: Sites, Temperance Flats, Los Vaqueros and Shasta, as well as aquifer storage. He is also the principal author, together with Congressman LaMalfa, of HR.1269, which would accelerate federal review of Sites Reservoir.”
A spokeswoman for the Carbajal campaign, Tess Whittlesey, also said the legislation “undermines” the state’s authority over its water supply.
“This legislation completely undermines California’s right to manage their own water supplies by preempting local water use agreements, and does nothing to provide water security for our Central Coast region,” Whittlesey said, adding that all options for shoring up California’s water supply needs to be explored.
California Republicans have worked to address drought concerns in the state for years.
The Water Act, which passed the lower chamber on a 230-190 vote, adds to their efforts following another drought-related bill passed in the House last month.
The offices of Bera, Ruiz, and Peters did not respond to requests for comment.
– Updated: Wednesday, 1:13 p.m.