WASHINGTON, DC- Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), today issued the following statement to denounce H.R. 1837, the San Joaquin River Reliability Act, which passed the House of Representatives last night:

“The Republican Majority in Congress shamefully put big agribusiness ahead of hardworking California families when they voted in favor of this awful water grab. This bill should be called the San Joaquin River Runs Dry Act because it will take water away from our fishing and farming communities and give it to a select handful of large agribusinesses. The best science available has proven that water diversions like this endanger fish species and worsen drinking water quality and salinity for farmers across the Bay-Delta.

“This bill will turn back the tide on the progress we’ve made to revitalize our fish populations. After more than three years of record declines, there are now an estimated 819,000 fall-run king salmon in the Pacific Ocean. When the commercial and sport fishing seasons begin this April it will open with much-needed job opportunities and revenue to our communities.

“H.R. 1837 would reverse all that to benefit a few special interest groups, and it would do so by overturning a century of California water law that protects the public trust and the environment. I strongly oppose this extreme bill and call upon the Senate to reject it.”