After decades of legal wrangling and legislative maneuvering, the fate of the controversial St. Croix River crossing comes down to a final vote Wednesday in the U.S. House.
Feeling the pressure after months of delay, Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann expressed tentative relief Tuesday on the eve of the climactic vote that could grant the project a needed exemption from the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
“It really is like Moses parting the waters to be able to get this done,” Bachmann said.
With just 24-hours to go, both sides in the dispute went into full court press. Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, who favors the $690 million bridge, fired off letters Tuesday to House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.
Dayton, who set a March 15 deadline for congressional approval of the project, said that further delay “would likely be its death knell.”
The Senate passed a bridge bill last month at the behest of Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar. Meanwhile, Minnesota Democrat Betty McCollum, who has been leading an effort in the House to defeat the bridge legislation, sent off a letter to congressional colleagues calling the project bad environmental policy and “fiscally irresponsible.”
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