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levee.JPGThe massive spending bill the House of Representatives passed Wednesday includes $72 million for Sacramento flood-protection efforts.

Lawmakers approved the $1.1 trillion, 1,580-page budget plan on a vote of 359-67.

"Today's vote demonstrates that we can deliver for the American people when we work together and compromise in a bipartisan fashion," said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Sacramento.

Of the $72 million, $2.5 million would go toward design work on an ongoing project to improve levees around Natomas and Sacramento.

The balance of the funds would also further the goal of protecting the Sacramento region from a 200-year flood.

Two separate projects at the Folsom dam would receive $69.5 million, to help raise the dam and construct an auxiliary spillway.

Matsui, who has long championed funding for Sacramento flood-control projects, said she would push to have more money set aside from a $90 million reserve fund.

Three California Republicans were among the 67 nays: Reps. Doug LaMalfa, Tom McClintock and Dana Rohrabacher.

In a floor speech, McClintock slammed items in the bill he considered wasteful spending. Among them: TIGER, a discretionary Department of Transportation grant program, "which, under the guise of transportation puts money into projects like a 6-mile pedestrian mall in Fresno and streets that discourage cars," McClintock said.

The Senate is expected to take up the legislation by week's end.

PHOTO: Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger tours the Natomas Cross Canal levee wave wash protection project, Tuesday Jan. 3, 2005. The Sacramento Bee/Brian Baer


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