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Keystone Senate Vote March 22nd, 2013

Friday night there was an important vote in the US Senate on the Keystone Pipeline. The pro-Keystone amendment would not have changed the process at all, it was simply an opportunity for Senators to get on the record either supporting or opposing the Keystone Pipeline. Local 49 spoke to representatives from both MN Senator Klobuchar and Franken’s offices and asked them to support this pro-Keystone amendment. While both MN Senators are with us on most issues, they were not with us on this one. It is important that members know when our friends stand with us, and when they don’t. And in this case, Senator Franken and Senator Klobuchar voted against our jobs.

Local 49 will continue to provide you with unbiased, member driven information on the critical issues related to job creation. We will not spin for politicians; we will always tell you the truth. And the truth is: on this vote covering the Keystone XL pipeline some of our friends didn’t stand with us.

On a positive note: The entire Senate delegation from the Dakotas voted YES in support of Keystone. We thank Senator Heitkamp (D-ND), Senator Hoeven (R-ND), Senator Johnson (D-SD), and Senator Thune (R-SD) for their support of good paying union pipeline jobs.

The intent of the amendment was to establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund to promote investment and job growth in United States manufacturing, oil and gas production, and refining sectors through the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Vote Counts:
YEAs
62
NAYs
37
Not Voting
1

Grouped By Vote Position, ordered alphabetically:  Read the rest of this entry

Stillwater Bridge legislation clears Congress.

Local 49 logoKlobuchar’s Bipartisan St. Croix Bridge Legislation Clears U.S. House!

Local 49 members enthusiastically applaud the House of Representatives for passage of the common sense and long overdue St. Croix Bridge Legislation. This project is a much needed shot in the arm to an industry that has been devastated by the recession.

Our members desperately need the work, and it is encouraging to see a bi-partisan group of legislators come together to do something to make sure that they have opportunities to get back on the job.

We especially want to thank Senator Amy Klobuchar, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, and Governor Mark Dayton for putting partisan politics aside to come together to do what is right for Minnesota. We are hopeful that this kind of cooperation continues; Minnesota’s construction workers can’t afford inaction.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar’s bipartisan legislation to allow the St. Croix River bridge project to move forward passed the House of Representatives on March 1st, and will now head to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Klobuchar led the effort to pass the bill in the Senate in January

The House version of the bill was sponsored by U.S. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN) and supported by U.S. Representatives Ron Kind (D-WI), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and Sean Duffy (R-WI).

“After thirty years of debate and delay, we finally got it done,” said Klobuchar. “Today is a victory for the residents and businesses along the St. Croix River Valley who have waited long enough for a safe, new bridge. This effort is an example of what can get done when people put politics aside and do what is best for our state. I appreciate the work of my colleagues in the House and Senate as well as Governor Dayton who helped get this project over the finish line.”

Included in the legislation is a package of mitigation efforts to protect the St. Croix River that were developed by consulting the Department of Transportation and National Park Service in 2006 by the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Minnesota and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources to help promote scenic and recreational values of the St. Croix River

As the bridge has aged, closings for structural and vehicle collision repairs and maintenance inspections have increased.

Unanimous Senate Approves Klobuchar’s “St. Croix River Crossing Authorization Act”

Stillwater Lift BridgeSenate passes Amy Klobuchar’s Stillwater bridge bill unanimously.

Of course, it’s not a done deal, especially with the lingering opposition from Representatives McCollum & Ellison, but think about that word “unanimous.” When was the last time anything passed either house of Congress without a single dissenting vote?

Senator Klobuchar’s success winning not just bi-partisan support but a unanimous vote to move the “St. Croix River Crossing Authorization Act” forward signals two key facts:
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Time to fix the Stillwater Bridge

U.S. Reps McCollum (MN-4) & Ellison (MN-5) oppose spending OUTSIDE their districts?Star-Tribune:
Bridge opposition from metro-area Reps McCollum & Ellison is misguided

After 80 years of increasingly heavy use, the historic two-lane Stillwater Lift Bridge is a landmark in dangerous disrepair while growth along the MN/WI border is steadily creating more traffic.

The proposed 4-lane bridge replacement project has been thoroughly vetted over the course of three decades. This is the plan that citizens and other stakeholders chose to best meet the traffic needs of the 21st century while causing the least environmental harm – and you know if both Rep. Bachmann and Senator Klobuchar can agree on the value and importance that this is not some minor, back-burner issue.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who wrote the bill and co-sponsors it with U.S. Senator Al Franken (D-MN), discussed why she supports the $690 million bridge project with MPR Morning Edition host Cathy Wurzer in November.
Read the rest of this entry

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