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House GOP Set To Pass Another California Water Bill

Rich Pedroncelli / File / AP

FILE - In this July 5, 2012 file photo, then-California Assemblyman, now-Rep. David Valadao, R-Calif., speaks in Sacramento, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / File / AP

(AP) - House Republicans are making another push to pass legislation designed to bring more water to California's farm belt despite criticism from the White House and congressional Democrats.

Similar efforts failed in the past two congressional sessions after the bills made it through the House.

California is in the midst of a four-year drought that has forced communities throughout the state to cut water use.

Republicans have blamed some of the cutbacks for agriculture on environmental regulations designed to protect salmon populations and a three-inch-long fish, the threatened Delta smelt, that is disappearing from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.

A bill by Republican Congressman David Valadao would siphon more water for the farm belt and set deadlines for completing feasibility studies to build or enlarge several dams.