In meetings on Capitol Hill and at the
But winning congressional support for such an ambitious project in an era of federal austerity could be like the recent kayak ride Rep.
Garcetti's lobbying comes as the Republican-controlled House has pushed to cut federal spending and as the Army Corps faces a $60-billion-plus backlog of projects awaiting funding.
"You can potentially risk not getting anything if you reach too high," said Steve Ellis, vice president of the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Still, this could be one of those projects that benefits from California lawmakers' rise in seniority.
"Of course I'm going to fight hard for what the people in L.A. want," Boxer said in an interview Tuesday.
Feinstein, however, said Los Angeles officials may need to find a middle ground with the Army Corps.
"It may well be that a compromise is the way to go," she said. "But the pressures here are enormous for that money."
Garcetti said he still planned to push for the $1-billion project, even if it takes longer to complete.
"I feel very optimistic about our chances," he said Tuesday.
Garcetti was meeting with Democratic and Republican lawmakers in an attempt to build bipartisan support for the project, including inviting House Majority Whip
Los Angeles officials are seeking to transform a stretch of the river between downtown and Griffith Park into a civic attraction offering recreational opportunities and restored habitat. With their congressional allies — Democratic Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard of Downey,
The corps, in a preliminary staff recommendation, has called for a $453-million project, with the federal government picking up about 30% of the tab.
A final recommendation is expected to be submitted in late spring to Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, the Army Corps' commanding general and chief of engineers. The recommendation then will go to
Garcetti said he was aware of Washington's fiscal constraints but noted that funding for the project would be stretched out over a number of years.
"We don't want to look back a generation from now and say, 'Oh, another incomplete project in L.A. again,' " he said.