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Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Tom Emmer issued the following statement regarding passage of H.R. 7608, a package that included State-Foreign Operations, Agriculture-Rural Development-FDA, and Interior-Environment appropriations bills. The bill included anti-mining provisions designed to ban the operation of existing and future mines in Minnesota. 

"This nation’s foundation is the American worker, and our state was built on the backs of Minnesota miners. Today, Representatives from the Twin Cities tried once again to destroy a critical economic engine of our state, rather than let a new generation of Minnesota miners demonstrate that they can protect the land just as their predecessors did.” Emmer said.

Emmer continued, “This bill contains several provisions that would harm mining throughout Northern Minnesota, and these actions are yet another attempt to circumvent the Iron Range and their voice. In addition to components that build our critical infrastructure, minerals in Minnesota go towards parts of cell phones, computers, vehicles, and wind turbines – every part of modern life, including indoor plumbing. Without American mining, our nation will rely on the likes of Russia, China, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to supply critical mineral resources. These countries have substandard or non-existent environmental processes, and some even utilize dangerous child labor practices. Americans should be reliant on their own mineral deposits in order to secure our national security."  

Specifically, the provisions included in H.R. 7608 would restrict the Department of the Interior from using funds to review or approve a mine plan proposed within the Rainy River Watershed of the Superior National Forest. Additionally, it would halt permitting of any new or existing mines in both the Superior National Forest and the Rainy River Watershed, including three iron ore mines currently located in the Superior National Forest - threatening nearly 2,200 jobs. These mines would be prohibited from expanding or improving their mining.  

Emmer concluded, “I am disappointed that a few of my fellow Minnesota colleagues decided to ignore the pleas of Northern Minnesotans and Congressman Pete Stauber, who represents the area that will be impacted by these harmful provisions. Not only did they refuse to consult with the Representative of the area, but House Democrats blocked debate on amendments that would have improved this bill. I was proud to stand with Minnesota miners by voting against this blatant attempt to decimate their livelihoods. Congress must let Minnesotans prove that they can create economic prosperity for our state and protect its beauty at the same time. After all, they’ve already done it for more than a century."

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