US Congress passes bill renaming Chisholm post office after Rep. Jim Oberstar


When Chisholm residents pick up and send mail at the city's post office, they'll walk under a sign that bears the name of the congressman who represented them in Washington for more than 30 years.

A bill to rename the Chisholm Post Office in memory of former Rep. Jim Oberstar passed both houses of congress and is awaiting a signature from President Obama, according to a news release.

The legislation was introduced by Minnesota's two U.S. senators, Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and 8th District Rep. Rick Nolan (D).

Oberstar, a Democrat who was born and raised in Chisholm, was first elected to congress in 1974 and served the 8th District until 2011 after losing a re-election bid; he championed America's transportation system, fought for Iron Range mine safety, and was the longest-serving congressman in the history of Minnesota.

He died last year at the age of 79.

“Jim received more honors than he could count in life – and even more with his passing," said Rep. Nolan, who now occupies Oberstar's seat. "But no honor would have meant more to him than being recognized by his colleagues in the town where he grew up”

With the bill's passing, however, comes a bit of irony, as the Washington Post observes.

Just as the House approved the Oberstar legislation, the paper says, some of its members were pushing for a transportation spending bill that falls far short of the big investment Oberstar so passionately believed the country's highway system needed.

During his nearly 40 years in congress, Oberstar chaired the Transportation Committee and introduced the emergency funding bill that helped replace the I-35 W Bridge in Minneapolis following its collapse eight years ago, Tuesday's release said.

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