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U.S. House approves flood diversion

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House on Tuesday gave its final approval to the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion.

The Water Resources Reform Development Act, a package of water infrastructure projects including the proposed $1.8 billion flood channel around the metro area, passed 412-5, with both area representatives — Minnesota Democrat Rep. Collin Peterson and North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer — voting in favor.

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Tuesday’s vote came more than a year after the Senate passed its original version of the bill. Last week, conference committee negotiators announced that they had ironed out the differences between the House and Senate bills.

The bill still needs the Senate’s approval and the president’s signature for authorization. The Senate is expected to take up the compromise bill Thursday, Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., said in a news release.

Congressional authorization does not guarantee the project any federal dollars for the project, but merely a spot in line to seek federal funding. The project is asking the federal government to cover more than $800 million of construction costs.

Money from North Dakota, Minnesota and local sales taxes is expected to cover the rest of the project’s cost.

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