City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

March 15, 2012
Speaker Boehner tours Natomas levees

House Speaker John Boehner toured levees in Natomas this week at the invitation of Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Gold River), as local officials push the feds to fund ongoing levee improvements to the area.

That Monday visit came on the heels of a trip to D.C. made last week by Mayor Kevin Johnson and Councilwoman Angelique Ashby to lobby federal officials for levee funding.

Local officials have had a hard time convincing the federal government to fund the final stages of levee improvement in Natomas - work that is needed to lift a federally-backed building moratorium in the area.

Lungren said Boehner - who was in town for a Lungren fundraiser - "made no promises," but that he "just tried to make sure we were able to get him here so he could see first hand what we've been talking about."

"I made it very clear there is no commitment expected and there were no commitments made," Lungren told me. "But you keep fighting everywhere you get a chance."

Levee funding has been held up by a Republican-backed earmark ban in the House.

Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) has introduced an amendment to the federal transportation bill passed by the Senate on Wednesday that would authorize support for flood-related projects. The bill has not passed through the House.

Ashby said she was "encouraged to hear that this important public safety issue is gaining traction with Washington decision makers."

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

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