Politics: Locks a bridge between states, parties for Bustos, Hinson |


On paper, the American representatives. Cheri Bustos, D-Illinois, and Ashley hinson, R-Iowa, are as different as they are similar.

Bustos has announced in recent months that she will not be running again, so after 2022 she is set to step down after six terms. Hinson just arrived in January, but is preparing for his first re-election campaign next year.

Bustos is a democrat, historically supported and successful among unions and the big cities in her district, while also winning voters in more rural counties. Hinson was part of the almost statewide Republican 2020 backlash during the 2018 Democratic wave, and was particularly successful in rural areas of his district.

But both were journalists before they ran for office, so they’ve got that.

The length of their districts is also both bordered and separated only by the Mississippi River. They also sit together on the US House Appropriations Committee.

It was those latest two connections that the couple celebrated last week by announcing that their bipartisan $ 22.5 million request for lock and dam renovations – as well as environmental – on the Mississippi River had been approved by the appropriations committee within the framework of the 2021 financing bill for energy and water development. The project would bring to life the Upper Mississippi’s navigation and ecosystem sustainability agenda, which had stalled for years.

The centerpiece of the NESP program is to lengthen the locks and dams on the Mississippi River – most of which were built after World War II – from 600 feet to 1,200 feet. This would drastically reduce the time tugs spend at locks for hours on end, moving one barge at a time, when boats have the capacity to move much faster.

“This is absolutely a critical issue for our riverine economies,” Hinson said during his weekly call with the Iowa press on Friday. “It’s about safety, timeliness, efficiency and making sure we have viable ways to bring our products to market. The entire country depends on the river economy of the Mississippi River. It’s a huge victory for the Midwest, especially for farmers and agricultural producers in Iowa.

Most of the first locks and dams to be lengthened are further downstream. But, more efficient movement there allows the same at Lock and Dam No.11, at Dubuque, for example, as boats and barges further north still have to wait for the more southerly passages to clear. before moving.

The US Army Corps of Engineers had been working on, and even designing, projects within the NESP for over a decade when funding was cut off in 2010. The program remained unchanged for almost 10 years until 2018, when a few million broke the deadlock to start renewed planning.

This major influx as voted by the House Appropriations Committee could finally see the vision of these projects become reality.

“Our agricultural producers depend on our inland waterways to deliver tons of goods to market each year, and we need to make sure that this economic engine remains strong,” Bustos said in a statement. “I am happy to announce that over $ 22.5 million in funding has been included in this legislative package and that this essential project is now on the verge of becoming a reality. I look forward to working with my colleagues as we continue to return taxpayer dollars to our communities and invest in the economic success of our waterways.

The House appropriations committee is only the first hurdle, of course. Infrastructure and budgets should have an uphill struggle in the House or Senate, given partisan divisions of nearly 50-50 in each. Bustos and Hinson, however, hope to work together to at least push through that shared priority.

Reynolds, Pence, more talks with controversial group in Des Moines

Republican Governor of Iowa. Kim reynolds was on a list of guest marquis at the Family Leadership Summit on Friday.

There she joined a who’s who of socially conservative Republican politicians, including the former vice president Mike pence, former Secretary of State Michel Pompeo and the government of South Dakota. Kristi noem. The conservative Christian convention is said to have drawn a crowd of over 1,200 people.

This isn’t the first time Reynolds has spoken at these conferences – she did so as Governor in 2019 and as Lieutenant Governor in 2013. The videos are widely available online.

The event is used as a platform to promote conservative Christian values, including those that oppose the right to abortion and the advancement of the rights of LGBTQ + people, as well as to push back liberal or progressive positions of the day.

The Iowa Democratic Party demonized his participation in the event.

“Head of household does not represent all families in Iowa,” IDP president says Ross wilburn in a press release on Friday. “It’s a shame to see Governor Reynolds and the Republicans of Iowa continue to support an organization that promotes a hate agenda and discriminates against LGBTQ + in Iowa. Democrats in Iowa will continue to support legislation that improves the lives of all families, no matter what they look like. “

Reynolds’ office did not respond when commenting on the event. His social media accounts didn’t mention him.

Wisconsin Budget Gets ADA for Lafayette County

Rep. Wisconsin Todd Novak, R-Dodgeville, announced last week that the Wisconsin state legislature had approved a budget with money for a Lafayette County assistant attorney, at Novak’s request.

“Currently, Lafayette and Crawford counties are the only two counties that do not have an assistant district attorney,” Novak said in a statement. “Over the past four years, Lafayette County has seen an increase in prosecutions, which has put a strain on the office. “

Buol supports bipartite infrastructures

Mayor of the city of Dubuque Roy Buol, last week, joined more than 300 other mayors from across the country in sending a letter to congressional leaders asking them to support the bipartisan infrastructure framework.

The framework is an early $ 1.2 trillion plan, crafted by a group of more moderate Republicans and Democrats in the US Senate.

The letter was presented as bipartisan, as many cities represented in it hold partisan elections. Really, however, the letter is more pan-partisan, as elected officials in Dubuque and many other towns are technically non-partisan.

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