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Walz, Paulsen back offshore drilling expansion bill

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A bipartisan group of Congressmen including Minnesota Democratic Rep. Tim Walz and Republican Rep. Erik Paulsen have introduced a bill to expand offshore oil and gas production. 

Walz said the bill is one way for the United States to wean itself from imported oil. He was one of about two dozen Democrats who voted this week for a Republican bill to expand offshore production.

"Spending nearly a half a trillion dollars a year to countries that hate us is insane. They will hate us for free," Walz said. "We can keep the jobs at home. We can create those jobs that make good, good living wages and we can start moving on that energy independence."

The group estimates the bill would create at least $2.2 trillion in revenue for the Treasury over the next 20 years. That money would be plowed into rebuilding roads and bridges, investment in renewable and cleaner energy sources and deficit reduction. 

But there's no word yet on whether Congressional leaders will bring the bill to a vote.