Today, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06) joined seven of her House colleagues in sending a letter regarding H.R. 850, a bill facilitating a new St. Croix River Crossing, to Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04). In addition to Bachmann, members on the letter are Congressmen Ron Kind (WI-03), Sean Duffy (WI-07), Reid Ribble (WI-08), Chip Cravaack (MN-08), Thomas Petri (WI-06), Tim Walz (MN-01) and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (WI-02). The letter to Chairman Hastings reads as follows:
Dear Chairman Hastings:
We write you today to ask for your help in advancing H.R. 850 to the full House of Representatives. If passed and signed into law, this bipartisan legislation would facilitate a new bridge connecting Oak Park Heights, Minnesota and St. Joseph Township, Wisconsin in the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River. The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on H.R. 850 in May and the bill was favorably reported out of committee on a bipartisan vote in October. It enjoys wide support at the federal, state, and local levels.
A new river crossing has been needed for decades to replace a lift bridge constructed in 1931. Unfortunately, the project continues to be stalled due to litigation. Meanwhile, the current crossing leads to excessive congestion, endangers public safety, deters tourism, and raises the cost of doing business for local communities. It is now, more important than ever, to see the St. Croix River Crossing Project completed.
Due to the pressing budgetary needs of our states, funding for the project may be imperiled if action is not taken soon. Congress must act soon to ensure that the state funding is not reallocated to other projects. We hope that you can provide clarity on the timing of this important legislation so that our states can prepare appropriately.
This legislation, H.R. 850, and its Senate companion, S. 1134, have overwhelming support. At this time, both bills have passed their respective committees of jurisdiction and await full congressional action. It is our hope that we can schedule floor consideration of a full vote on H.R. 850 on the House floor as soon as possible.
We thank you for your leadership on this issue.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (MN-06)
Congressman Ron Kind (WI-03)
Congressman Sean Duffy (WI-07)
Congressman Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Congressman Chip Cravaack (MN-08)
Congressman Thomas Petri (WI-06)
Congressman Tim Walz (MN-01)
Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (WI-02)
H.R. 850 facilitates a four-lane crossing connecting Oak Park Heights, Minnesota and St. Joseph Township, Wisconsin in the Lower St. Croix Valley. Introduced March 1, 2011, this bill allows construction of a proposed crossing to move forward without further delay. The Natural Resources Committee has jurisdiction on the legislation.