Bergman, exchange partner make visit

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., left, and U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Watersmeet, second from right, put on Stormy Kromer hats during their visit to Houghton as part of the American Congressional Exchange.

HOUGHTON — U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman made his latest visit to Houghton and Baraga counties Friday — this time with another Congress member making her first trip.

Bergman, R-Watersmeet, brought fellow U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla. The two are part of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Congressional Exchange, which pairs House members from different parties. Each must spend a weekend in the other’s district.

Bergman visited Florida last year, a trip that helped spawn Murphy’s BATTLE for Service Members Act, intended to help service members transition to civilian life.

For this weekend’s tour, stops included the Tilden Mine, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Michigan Technological University.

“Democrats and Republicans work together every day in Congress to get things done, and this is part of that education of each other to show where our constituents have needs, or probably equally as important, where things like Michigan Tech, for example, provide great value for our educational system across the country, across the world,” Bergman said.

Asked about potential federal funding for flood-related complications from the spring melt, Bergman said federal agencies, particularly the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and state-level agencies would help evaluate the situation.

“The key is the communications between the state and federal level and the county-level agencies are very strong,” he said.

Bergman said he had heard no potential for disaster funding from the June 17 flood being tapped for other purposes. A February Associated Press article said President Trump was considering using $13.9 billion in federal disaster relief as a potential source for funding for pay for a border wall. Houghton County repairs are not among the projects in that fund, which includes U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects in 15 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Corps website.