The House on Tuesday passed legislation to provide relief to areas in California affected by prolonged drought.

Passed 230-182, the measure directs the Obama administration to authorize two state water projects, the Central Valley Project and the State Water Project, to help store more water from storms. The legislation would last through September 2016.


Lawmakers warned that doing nothing to address California droughts could threaten the nation's food supply.

"Food grows where water flows. When there is no water, our food supply suffers, resulting in higher food prices across the country, higher unemployment, and increased reliance on foreign food sources," said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc HastingsRichard (Doc) Norman HastingsCongress just resolved a 20-year debate over Neolithic remains Boehner hires new press secretary GOP plots new course on Endangered Species Act reform MORE (R-Wash.). 

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the bill would open up water sources without harming fish.

"Now, I know government cannot make it rain, but government can stop the government policies that pick fish over people," McCarthy said. 

But Democrats said the legislation had not been properly vetted and was negotiated without their consultation.

"This bill is being rushed to the floor without the input of critical California leaders throughout the state," said Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif.). 

The White House issued a veto threat against the bill, saying it "fails to equitably address critical elements of California's complex water challenges."

But Republicans representing areas in the Central Valley accused lawmakers representing northern parts of the state of refusing to share their water supply.

"This is about San Francisco and Los Angeles getting all of their water, never giving up one drop, and they have taken the water from our communities," said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

The bill faces a steep climb in the Senate, as both of California's senators oppose it.