U.S. House debates Stillwater bridge construction on WednesdayA House vote is scheduled Thursday, March 1, on the measure, which would override a rejection of the project by the National Park Service under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
U.S House leaders will debate a bill Wednesday that authorizes construction of the long-proposed St. Croix River near Stillwater, Minn., and Houlton.
A House vote is scheduled Thursday on the measure, which would override a rejection of the project by the National Park Service under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann convinced House leaders to suspend the rules and take up the bill now. She said they understood the urgency, after Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said he wanted House approval by March 15 or else he would reallocate his state’s share of the bridge to other highway projects.
The U.S. Senate OKed the four-lane, $690 million project in late January.
Bachmann said the House leadership is “absolutely behind” the measure.
Because it’s being expedited, a two-thirds vote is required for passage. Bachmann said she and La Crosse House Democrat Ron Kind have been rounding up support for the measure.
Meanwhile, Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum is urging the House to vote no. She favors a smaller and less expensive project.
In a statement, McCollum called the four-lane structure “a $700 million mega-bridge for Wisconsin commuters” that would raise taxes on Minnesotans and cause problems on Highway 36 where the bridge would connect.
Thousands in northwest Wisconsin now use an old lift bridge and parade through Stillwater each day to get to their jobs in Minnesota’s Twin Cities.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker supports the larger bridge, as do many of the Badger State’s federal lawmakers.More from around the web