Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding time to me.
In what feels now like a lifetime ago but was in fact only 2 days ago, on August 1, the world changed forever for the people of our State of Minnesota. Our people witnessed an event so unlikely, the sudden and complete collapse of nearly 2,000 feet of eight lanes of highway, propelling nearly 50 cars in midair for a horrific 60-foot plunge into the currents of the Mississippi River. An event so unlikely that we in Minnesota collectively remain shocked and filled with sorrow, knowing the inevitable sad news that is yet to come once our heroic first responders have freed our fellow Americans who even now as we stand here remain trapped underwater.
Minnesota needs the help and the prayers of all Americans and we appreciate the overwhelming support in our time of need. I know I speak for my husband Marcus and myself. We offer our deepest sympathies, as does everyone in our delegation, to the family and the friends of those who were killed.
Mr. Speaker, America believes in extending a helping hand to people who are in trouble due to no fault of their own, and I want to assure the residents of Minnesota today that we will have help in cleaning up and rebuilding. We will have help until the job is done. Because Congress understands, Republicans, Democrats, we're all Americans in this and we understand that this is not just an emergency for a day or for a week. We will provide the support and the work that is necessary to rebuild the lives and the communities that were damaged until this tragedy is over. And that is what makes America so great.
This bill is just our first step toward recovery. I thank Chairman Oberstar for his brilliant work, working around the clock to bring this to the floor. It's inspiring the way so many have come together and worked together over these last few days.
I join my colleagues from Minnesota, a great State that each one of us loves so much, in requesting your support to rebuild this bridge. Once again, I know we can count on you, the Members of this great deliberative body, to rebuild the great city of Minneapolis and again to make it whole.
153 Congr. Rec. H9679. (2007). https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/volume-153/issue-127/house-section/article/H9675-2.