What a relief that we have a government run by adults who can get things done ("A critical win for nation's infrastructure," editorial, Nov. 9). We can look forward to improved roads and bridges, low-emission and zero-emission buses, electric vehicle charging stations, broadband access improving internet services for rural areas, improvements toward the reliability and resiliency of the power grid, replacement of lead pipes and the removal of other contaminants from water sources, airport improvements, including improving aging air traffic control towers. All of this means jobs, jobs, jobs and meaningful measures to address climate change.
Thank you to President Joe Biden and all congressional members who voted for the infrastructure bill, including our own Sens. Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar and Reps. Betty McCollum, Angie Craig and Dean Phillips. Those in favor were overwhelmingly Democrat, but with the backing of 19 Republican senators and 13 Republican representatives, this bill was truly a bipartisan success. Now let's rally the cooperative spirit necessary to pass the Build Back Better package that is teed-up next.
Lisa Wersal, Vadnais Heights
This is another day when I am proud to be from St. Paul. Rep. McCollum and I certainly have our differences, but she voted for Minnesota and against crumbling bridges today, while the representative of the Fifth District on the other side of the river privileged her ideological purity over her constituents' needs yet again. I hope voters in the Fifth District will remember that when primary time is upon us.
Rich Furman, St. Paul
After Rep. Ilhan Omar's vote against the infrastructure bill, I suggest it is time to get rid of her. Her basis for the vote was that the social infrastructure bill was being left behind, at least temporarily. I suggest she has no business in politics: The essence of a politician's role is compromise, greasing the wheels of legislation to make sure something is achieved, even if it is not all one wants. That does not mean giving up on goals.
As a yellow-dog Democrat, I suggest we find representatives who know the good is not the enemy of the perfect, and that progress is made one step at a time, as President Biden has said. Voting against the bill risked achieving nothing. Does she really work for Mitch McConnell and the Nullification Party?
Time to resign, Ilhan.
Charles Quinn, Apple Valley
We now know that the infrastructure bill has passed Congress. So, what is the fate of the Build Back Better Act (BBB, the social spending bill), if it stands on its own?
Will Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin or Congress as a whole be willing to spend more money with the BBB bill? With COP26 underway in Glasgow discussing how to slow the climate crisis, and all the recent news telling us that we have to act immediately, how about we get a separate bill in Congress to address climate change instead of including climate action in the BBB bill? The climate crisis is such a huge problem that it should be addressed in its own bill. There's talk that Manchin has ties to the coal industry, so, can we go around Manchin? Maybe we could get the other Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate, and a couple (enough) Republicans, to support meaningful climate action if there was a stand-alone climate bill.
There are many options for climate action. The Citizens' Climate Lobby is advocating for a price on carbon, with all the revenue returned as a monthly dividend to the public. Economists say that we should put a price on "what we don't want" to drive action and to account for the societal costs of fossil fuels. Inaction on reversing the climate crisis will cost more in lives and dollars than taking action now. Call your members of the U.S. House and Sens. Klobuchar and Smith.
Peter Berglund, St. Paul
President Biden contends that Republicans were elected last week because agreement could not be achieved sooner on his trillion-dollar-plus spending bill. You think so?
Do you think our president's constituents are happy about thousands of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border? Or how about the boondoggle of our military exit from Afghanistan, leaving Americans and Afghans who helped us behind? How many of us enjoy the rising price of gas and the expensive cost of groceries? Maybe we don't appreciate the fact that shootings and theft are going through the roof?
Could any of the aforementioned have possibly contributed to the election of Republicans? Come on! Those responsible for the welfare of our country need to get a firm grip on some common sense and good judgment!
Elise Kist, Eden Prairie
The time is long overdue to initiate concrete, meaningful steps abolishing the party system. There, I've said it.
Whether or not our Founding Fathers had serious reservations about political parties (they did), then and now concerns center around lawmakers prioritizing personal gains and party ideology at the expense of policies important to implement for the well-being of our country and Planet Earth. Cases in point are Biden's infrastructure and social package and the climate plan.
How long must we continue to endure the muddied waters of American government while too many dedicated public servants are left to basically tread water?
Kai Laybourn, Bloomington
You can lie, but you can't hide
I read in today's newspaper that governments of many countries are underreporting their carbon emissions ("Nations base climate pledges on skewed data, analysis finds," front page, Nov. 9). This seems to me to be a worthless exercise. Humans will be neither judge nor jury in this case. There will be no jury, and the judge will be Mother Nature. She is impossible to fool.
Donald Stauffer, Coon Rapids
As I was listening to the reporting on the COP26 climate summit this week, I was reminded that while the goals for mitigating climate change are set in these meetings, the actions to reach those goals must be taken by individual nations. Much of the funding needed for our country's part will come from the Build Back Better legislation. So, if Sen. Joe Manchin and others in the Senate block this legislation because "it's too expensive," I guess we'll just have to tell our children and grandchildren, "Sorry, dears, our country didn't act to save the planet for you because we figured it would cost us too much."
Bill Kaemmerer, Edina
LITERACY THROUGH MUSIC
O viri, este hilares ...
The author of a Nov. 8 letter stated that "auditory processing is the key to language and literacy, and singing and music-making are the primary means of developing it." How true. In high school Latin class, I learned to sing "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" in Latin. I can still sing it flawlessly today ... and I'm 75 years old.
Robert W. Carlson, Plymouth
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