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Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer on Tuesday came out foursquare against legislation that would end a San Joaquin River restoration program.

In a joint letter to the House water and power subcommittee, Feinstein and Boxer denounced the legislation backed by Reps. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia, and Jeff Denham, R-Atwater. The senators' opposition underscores the difficulties the legislation still faces, even though it appears on track for House approval.

Feinstein called the bill "dramatic overkill," while Boxer called it "radical." The legislation would block the river restoration program, which settled a long-running lawsuit, and it would also curtail environmental protections for fish and wildlife in order to boost irrigation water deliveries.

The House water and power panel, chaired by Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, will be holding another hearing on the bill before lawmakers start voting on it.


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