Well, we saw the first major impact last week, without Trump even lifting a finger.
Hammered out by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Bakersfield’s Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House, it broke a half-decade-long political logjam over the issue, and there is little doubt that uncertainty over Trump’s attitude was its driving force.
Feinstein obviously decided that a compromise now would be better than taking a chance on what the Republicans who control both houses of Congress and Trump might do on water once he was inaugurated.
“I believe these provisions are both necessary and will help our state,” Feinstein said.
We probably won’t know how it plays out for years. Whatever its impact, though, the Feinstein-McCarthy deal demonstrates that the Bakersfield congressman will be a pivotal figure in the Trump-California relationship.
All of the handwringing and defiant, man-the-battlements rhetoric aside, California depends on Washington for tens of billions of dollars each year, particularly for health and welfare services, including 3.8 million additional Medi-Cal enrollees under Obamacare. It also routinely seeks “waivers” on how it spends that money.
The water deal indicates that McCarthy will be the go-to guy when California seeks favors from a president who will see the state as an enemy.