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Imperial Beach Could Get Federal Cash to Replenish Its Coastline

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Imperial Beach may still get its sand. The U.S. senate voted down a proposal that would have stopped federal money from shoring up the city's coastline. Charles Davis reports from Capitol Hill.

The amendment was offered by Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn. He argues that a program to prevent flooding in Sacramento should have been given priority instead.

Coburn : We ought to take care of the people in Sacramento, 1.8 million people, before we supply beach sand for 1,500 millionaires.

According to the U.S. Census, Imperial Beach has a per-capita income of $16,000, making it one of the poorer cities in the state. Opponents of Coburn's amendment say the beach project is needed to reduce damage from storms.

California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer says the amendment was just a bad idea.

Boxer : I thought his amendment made absolutely no sense. I mean, he's deciding that one part of my state should be protected from flooding but another should not.

While the amendment was defeated, the Senate still needs to vote on the overall bill.

From Capitol Hill, Charles Davis, KPBS News.

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