Just over a month ago, Bluestem looked at how a freshman Republican state legislator was asking Minnesota's congressional delegation to go to bat for the Lewis & Congress Clark Rural Water Project.
It's the Republican paradox: hate earmarks, but love the local projects they fund. I can't fault Rep. Schomacher for supporting the project, however. Potable drinking water is a basic necessity.
Senator Franken is stepping up for Lewis & Clark--a worthwhile one regardless of GOP hypocrisy on its funding. The Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports in Franken seeks to boost pipeline: Water project will 'never get done' at this rate, senator says:
Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., whose state will benefit from the project along with South Dakota and Iowa, told Salazar he was disappointed that President Obama included only $493,000 in his 2012 budget plan for a water project that already has secured 99 percent of the money promised by state and local governments but only half of the $400 million Washington pledged.
"This budget proposal does virtually nothing to move this forward. At this rate, the project will literally never get done," Franken told Salazar during a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. "I just do not believe that's fair to the communities that have put up their full share and are waiting for the federal government to pull its weight."
Lewis & Clark officials had hoped for at least $10 million, though even that would not be enough to keep the project on track for completion by the end of the decade. . . .
. . ."What are local communities to think if they hold up their end of the bargain on a water project or any other project, and they start to build it?" he said. "This feels like a waste of money if you start something and then it's not funded (because) the federal government doesn't hold up its end."
Read the entire article at the Argus.