An attempt by Republican Rep. Jason Lewis to restructure the Metropolitan Council failed to gain traction in Washington, D.C., last week.
Lewis' proposed amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 sought to strip the Met Council's ability to parcel out millions in federal transportation dollars. The FAA act was signed into law by President Donald Trump last week, without Lewis' amendment.
The Met Council, a regional planning body composed of gubernatorial appointees, oversees regional planning for parks, transportation and wastewater systems for the seven-county metro area. Similar bodies nationwide are composed of elected officials.
Lewis said retooling the Met Council with elected officials would increase its "transparency and accountability." Lewis noted the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched an official review of the board's standing at his behest.
The council, he noted, "has been acting outside federal law for decades."
Met Council spokesperson Kate Brickman said the board was found to be in compliance in previous federal transportation department reviews in 2011 and 2015.
Lewis is seeking re-election in Minnesota's Second Congressional District against Democrat Angie Craig. In a campaign television ad released this week, Lewis called Met Council members "corrupt bureaucrats."