WASHINGTON, D.C. (WALB) - Georgia's Republican U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, told Senators that language inserted into the Energy and Water appropriations bill by an Alabama senator is wrong, and called it a 'direct attack on the state of Georgia,' in the longstanding legal dispute with the state of Alabama over water usage.
Isakson said giving Congress the authority to intervene in the long-standing water dispute on the side of Alabama, and against Georgia, is why Georgia wants that part of the bill removed. He said he would 'passionatley fight it.'
Isakson and Perdue both voted against proceeding to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, which failed by two votes. They said Congress should not be taking sides in interstate disputes, especially with law suits pending.
"Included in this Energy and Water report is language that was circuitously placed into the bill that would disadvantage my state of Georgia and show a preference to other states that surround us," said Sen. Isakson during debate on the Senate floor.
"As anyone can imagine, with nearly 30 years of court cases and 60 years of water rights issues, the line between who is right and who is wrong can sometimes get blurry," said Sen. Perdue. "But the fact is the Senate should not be intervening in disputes between the states. This is an issue that should be decided by the courts, and the Senate certainly should not allow one Senator to invalidate progress on a multistate water rights issue problem."
"I want to applaud Georgia's Governor Nathan Deal for his recent attempts to solve this issue and hope that one day we will reach a resolution to this problem that meets everyone's needs," concluded Senator Perdue.
The "reallocation" prohibited by this language has been central to an interstate dispute between Georgia and Alabama since 1990, when Alabama first sued to prevent Georgia from reallocating water within the basin. That lawsuit was dismissed as baseless in 2012 after 22 years of litigation.