News Releases

Monday, June 13, 2016

Georgia Senators Warn Colleagues against Advancing Bill with Harmful Interstate Water Provision

Reaffirm strong opposition to controversial water language

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and David Perdue, R-Ga., today highlighted their strong opposition to any appropriations bill that includes controversial language directly impacting Georgia’s water supply and any ongoing water rights litigation between multiple states.

“There is report language in the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill that directly interjects Congress into a tristate water dispute between the state of Georgia, Alabama and Florida that has gone on for 27 years,” said Senator Isakson during remarks before the Senate on Monday. “We have no place as a Senate or as a Congress to inject ourselves into a case that's pending litigation in the courts on issues that are purely between states.

Isakson continued, “I was sent here to represent 10.4 million people in the state of Georgia. If somebody is trying to inject themselves beyond the appropriate place, I’m going to do everything I can to stop them. The way I will start that tomorrow will be to vote ‘No’ on the motion to proceed until this nefarious language has been removed.”

“We are going to use every tool at our disposal to stop any bill from moving forward that would negatively impact any state’s water supply,” said Senator Perdue. “Not only do we believe this issue was resolved last year, but we remain firm in our commitment that this should not be dealt with through the appropriations process. Any appropriations language seeking to influence the outcome of this matter will inappropriately impact the ongoing negotiations between the states and the pending litigation in federal court.”

In March, Senators Isakson and Perdue sent a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to reinforce their opposition to the harmful water allocation language included in last year’s Energy and Water Appropriations bill and subsequently, the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2016.

“This letter is meant to reaffirm that we will not support any legislation that includes language reversing the progress made with the Corps regarding the use of its water in the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa (ACT) or Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint (ACF) basins,” wrote the senators. “Both basins provide critical water resources to a significant portion of our state.”

Read the full letter here

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