California quake-safety support is properly bipartisan – Orange County Register

Who says bipartisanship in Congress is dead?

Well, it’s on life support, sure, as this week’s almost entirely party-line Senate vote on reviving the health-care debate showed. Like the entirely party-line vote in the House and Senate that set up Obamacare in the first place.

But there are some matters on which House members of both major political parties, especially in a diverse and needy state such as California, can and do work together.

As we noted last month when President Trump’s initial budget proposal called for the wholesale elimination of federal funding for the crucial, cheap and cost-effective earthquake early-warning system for the entire West Coast, politics sometimes gets personal, but there’s no telling if the president was thinking of the majorities of people who didn’t vote for him in California, Oregon and Washington when he made that budget decision.

But if the ongoing funding for ShakeAlert, a cost-efficient early-warning system that would provide up to a crucial minute for those of us who live here to prepare for a major earthquake, were to disappear, it would do so at our peril. As Caltech seismologist Lucy Jones says, the cuts would kill the program: “Eliminating the $10 million (a) year that the government has been spending would stop the program and waste the $23 million that has already been invested.”

Our Southern California members of Congress, whichever their party, live on the fault lines, as do all their constituents. That’s why it was good to see longtime Inland Empire Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Corona, the chairman of California’s GOP House delegation and chair of the House appropriations subcommittee that oversees spending by the Department of the Interior, stand up in support of continuing funding for ShakeAlert. He has otherwise voted in line with Trump’s positions 100 percent of the time, according to FiveThirtyEight, the political analysis website.

“I don’t know why they did that, quite frankly,” Calvert…

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