(Editor’s Note: The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $10 billion water bill that includes $558 million for drought stricken California. Congressman Kevin McCarthy and Senator Dianne Feinstein teamed up on the bi-partisan measure. Senator Barbara Boxer opposes the measure, which now heads to the Senate. The vote was 360-61, with 222 Republicans and 138 Democrats backing the bill. Congressman McCarthy’s full comments in support of the bill can be found here. Below are excerpts from his comments.)

As we all know, the drought is an act of nature. It is one of those troubles that we can respond to and prepare for, but not prevent. Yet our own government—the federal government—has not only failed to prepare for this drought; they have exacerbated it. Water that could have been used in homes or on farms has been sent out to sea. Water that could have been stored by building new reservoirs was lost. Water—our most precious resource—has been wasted.

But today, and in large part thanks to members on both sides of the aisle in this chamber and the senior senator of our Golden State with their good-faith negotiation and partnership, water is coming. We now have a bipartisan water bill. It’s not the holistic one that this House wants to pass, but it is a bill that helps deliver water to our communities—potentially enough to supply the annual needs of almost 450,000 households in California.

It will increase pumping. It will increase storage. It will fund more desalination, efficiency, and recycling projects. And it will do all of this in accordance with the Endangered Species Act and without costing the taxpayers one additional cent.