Hill: Reid Lacks Jobs Bill Cloture Vote

Yesterday, I reported on the incredulous national reaction fellow Democrats had to Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D, CA) proposed amendment to the upcoming Jobs Bill, the one where she wanted to suspend the Endangered Species Act protections to migrating baby salmon and Delta smelt in the Sacramento & San Joaquin River Delta, with the excuse that increased water pumping out of the Delta to her billionaire water broker donors would “increase jobs.”

This ignored the fact that the salmon fishing season has been suspended the past 2 years on the CA coast and may be heading for a 3rd year of cancelation because of the collapse and crash of the salmon population.

Story here:

DiFi Does a Pombo on Salmon, Jobs Bill Amend Guts EndSpecAct

I found a letter from CA Assemblyperson, Chair of the “Water, Parks, & Wildlife Committee,” Jared Huffman, to Mark Corwin, Director of the CA Dept of Water Resources (DWR) from 1 week ago, Feb 10th.  In it, Chairman Huffman asks why the CA Dept of Water Resources (DWR)  is flouting the CA Endangered Species Act (CESA) with regards to Judge Oliver Wanger’s opinion Feb 5, 2010, that Delta water pumping extraction must decrease to protect Delta Smelt and migrating salmon.  In 2008 and 2009, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service said that if water agencies such as CVP + SWP pumped high amounts of water out of the Delta at certain times, it was going to drive Federally listed endangered fish in the Delta to extinction. (state rules need to comply with Federal listings)  In the summer of 2009 the Dept of Water Resources requested rules clarification, then turned around and started attacking the new rules in court.  


Huffman  to DWR:

{{{   On August 3, 2009, (the CA)  Dept Water Resources (DWR) filed legal papers in support of a motion

by its water contractors seeking to invalidate the biological opinion – even though the effect would

be to invalidate DWR’s own CA Endangered Species Act coverage for the SWP pumps.

Then DWR took aim at the salmon biological opinion.  Last week, detection of salmon triggered an

obligation under the salmon biological opinion for the SWP/CVP pumps to reduce reverse flows in Middle

and Old Rivers.  State and federal water contractors went to court seeking to overturn the heavily peer

reviewed salmon biological opinion and replace it with a previously invalidated Bush-era opinion.  

Now, detection of smelt has triggered protections under the delta smelt biological opinion. As you know, a limitation on reverse flow to protect delta smelt would also meet your requirements to protect salmon and longfin smelt.  Monday, Central Valley Project contractors filed for a Temporary Restraining Order on the delta smelt protections.  And Dept of Water Resources, fully informed as to the deference the court gave its last letter, filed another “non-opposition” letter yesterday.

Having actively worked to create these problems, please explain how DWR intends to fix them.  }}}



a pdf download of Huffman’s letter to the DWR is here:  


I expanded some of the acronyms above, so it would read more easily

I’m quoting this to to help illustrate the breadth of the problem Senator Feinstein created with so many levels of both state and Federal water and fisheries law, when she decided to play Top Water Distributress of the SacJoaquin Delta. The state of CA was trying to work this out with the Federal government, and she meddled to make a favor to Kerns County water brokers, and Westlake Mutual Water Company and billionaire donor Stewart Resnik, so they could sell a bigger water allotment to the highest bidder in Southern CA.  And this is going to be tacked on to a JOBS Bill.

Congress has had this week off because of President’s day. They had the previous week off because of 2 massive snowstorms.  So they’ve had plenty of time to interact people who are either mad at them or wish to purchase their influence.

Today, The Hill is reporting that Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid doesn’t have the cloture votes to even begin debate on the jobs bill.  

It seems the Senate considers Pork to be even a more endangered species than Delta Smelt.

Do 16 million unemployed Americans, at least 10% of the labor pool (and it’s much higher if everyone was counted) need jobs as much as certain Senators are needing graft ?   Remember how they were in such a big damned hurry for this “jobs” bill at the beginning of the month ?   Now it’s turning into who can get the biggest tax cuts, aka Pork Chops, again.

“I understand Reid does not have the votes for cloture on Monday on his jobs bill,” one source said.


Notice how this is an anonymous source.  So who’s the hold out this time ?

“It all depends on what Republicans do,” said Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman.

Oh, come on, Dems.  Plantation Blanche “There isn’t going to be a Public Option” and Ben “Mutual of Omaha” Nelson  are making noises and haven’t switched parties, officially, yet.   And Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa and somebody in Illinois (Roland, is that you? or Durbin?)  wants those soybean biodiesel tax credits.  

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has noted the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that extending unemployment insurance would create more jobs than providing tax credits to employers who hire new workers.

Aiiiyeeeee.  Facepalm.  Headdesk. Thump.

Senator Nelson of Nebraska actually spoke about “customer demand” and whether tax cuts would do any good if there wasn’t a demand for products.

Here’s a hint.  70 million Americans are waiting right now for the ability to obtain health care, just like in civilized, first world countries.   That’s 70 million customers for something.  You could, you know, reconcile a Senate bill with a House version, improve it to cover everyone, therefore cut costs,  and do something about that, instead of frittering away time and lives as if it didn’t matter.  You could act like you have a Senate Majority, a purpose, and if you did, some of the Republicans would want to join up with your successes.  

Not to mention the migrating baby salmon. And their friends, the little Delta smelts, both trying now to just get to where they need to be, and not to get sucked into a hydro Delta pump for a campaign donation.


  1. … White House.

    There needs to be a message from the White House.  And I don’t mean “grab a mop and make a phone call for Ossification For America.”

  2. Rather does the jobs bill come with an extension of that piss poor patriot act.

Comments have been disabled.