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Senate Backs Water Bill, Sends To Obama

Carolyn Kaster, File /  AP

Carolyn Kaster, File / AP

Congress has approved a wide-ranging bill to authorize water projects across the country, including $170 million to address lead in Flint, Michigan's drinking water and $558 million to provide relief to drought-stricken California.

The Senate approved the $10 billion bill, 78-21, early Saturday morning despite complaints from some Democrats that the drought measure was a giveaway to California farmers and businesses. The vote sends the bill to President Barack Obama.

Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer of California was one of the bill's key authors, but urged senators to vote no because of a last-minute provision that Boxer said puts the interests of big farms over the fishing industry.

Fellow California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said the bill will increase water deliveries to farms and businesses devastated by the years-long drought.

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