Rep. John Garamendi failed to collect enough votes for an amendment to the fiscal 2014 Energy-Water Development Bill that would have sunk more money into strengthening the region’s levees.
Garamendi’s amendment would have increased Army Corps of Engineers funding for levee projects by $100 million. The House rejected the measure by a vote of 253-170.
It approved the overall, $30.4 billion bill, 227-198, on Wednesday, largely along party lines. Garamendi voted “no.”
The bill cut the Corps’ budget by $104 million. Garamendi emphasized that the cut comes on top of $250 million in automatic budget cuts due to sequestration.
“Strengthening levees to prevent a catastrophic, deadly flood, which we know is coming, is common sense and fiscal sense and an absolute moral imperative,” Garamendi said in a news release.
“Republicans and Democrats in Northern California strongly support flood protection infrastructure, but the House of Representatives refuses this basic responsibility to protect its citizens from the next Katrina.”
The congressman offered two other amendments. The second sought to turn funding for nuclear weapons programs that went beyond the Obama administration’s request toward green-energy research.
The third amendment called for a report on alternative uses for funding for a the continued construction of a Savannah River, Georgia, plant meant to transform plutonium into commercial reactor fuel. That project is facing some $5.9 billion in cost overruns, Garamendi said.
The appropriations bill represented a $2.9 billion cut from the previous fiscal year.